(CBS Local) — A picture may be worth a thousand words, but according to a new report a selfie is worth thousands of dollars in plastic surgery to a growing number of patients.
A study published in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery found that selfies make a person’s nose appear to be 30 percent larger than it actually is. “Despite the ease with which selfies are taken, the short distance from the camera causes a distortion of the face owing to projection, most notably an increase in nasal dimensions,” researchers wrote.
The study adds that selfies are typically taken about 12 inches away from the face, which dramatically distorts the way a person looks compared to a picture taken five feet away. Despite the illusion created by selfies, surgeons are reporting that more people are requesting nose jobs to correct the way they look.
Facial plastic surgeon Boris Paskhover of Rutgers University contributed to the JAMA report and claims several patients at his clinic want surgery because of the way they appear in selfies. “I’d say, ‘Your nose doesn’t look big — there’s distortion when you keep a camera close to your face,'” Dr. Paskhover told Vox. “If all the pictures [you take] are up close, the way you view yourself may be distorted,” Paskhover warned.
A January survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (AAFPRS) found that 55 percent of doctors said their patients wanted surgery to look better in selfies last year. Only 13 percent of surgeons said they performed a selfie-related operation in 2016. “Consumers are only a swipe away from finding love and a new look, and this movement is only going to get stronger,” AAFPRS President William Truswell said.
Dr. Paskhover pushed back against people opting for surgery to correct the camera’s flaw. “Young adults are constantly taking selfies to post to social media and think those images are representative of how they really look, which can have an impact on their emotional state,” the surgeon added in a press release. “I want them to realize that when they take a selfie they are in essence looking into a portable funhouse mirror.”