If you’d asked me to guess what type of plastic surgery increased most between 2010 and 2011, chin augmentation would not have been near the top of my list. But according to new statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, demand for “chinplants“—inserted to enhance or define the chin line—increased 71% during that period, outpacing breast implants, liposuction and Botox combined in growth.
Of course, that comparison is sort of silly—chin augmentation surgery is a fairly new trend, and as such it had a much smaller starting number (and thus more room to grow) than the already saturated breast and Botox markets. But there’s no way around the fact that a growing number of Americans are getting chinplants. A growing number of Americans are getting chinplants. That’s the point in American culture we are at, ladies and gentleman.
Overall, there were nearly 21,000 chin augmentation surgeries in America last year, split pretty evenly between women (about 10,100) and men (about 10,600). Here’s how plastic surgeon and Columbia University professor Darrick Antell explains the appeal:
“Having a strong chin is not something you can gain via diet or exercise,” says Dr. Antell. “You’re either born with it or you see a surgeon to improve it.”
OR YOU JUST DON’T WORRY THAT MUCH ABOUT THE SHAPE OF YOUR CHIN. Just a suggestion.
Antell says part of the increase is driven by baby boomers, who are getting older and getting loose skin under the jaw line. But the other reason he gives is more unsettling:
“People have cameras everywhere. You can be at a wedding at the buffet table and a moment later see pictures of your double chin on Facebook. We’re a much more image-driven society than we were even five years ago.”
I saw another article recently (which I can’t find now) about how more young women have been wearing foundation because of camera phones and everyone photo-documenting their lives these days. There’s been a lot of research on whether Facebook and other social networks make us more lonely. Perhaps a better question would be how they’re make us more vain.