ONLY ON 23 NEWS: The Skin Deep Obsession

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – It’s the culture we live in where selfies rule. From celebrities to everyday people, snapping a picture is simple and now perfection is just a filter away with airbrushing, teeth whitening, and red eye correction.

Felicia Bryant wasn't happy with how her lips looked in her selfies so she bypassed the filters, taking a more permanent step.

"It’s something I always thought about and then I just kind of went for it," she explained.

Bryant is getting Restylane, a filler injected into her lips to give them more volume and a more defined border. While she didn't want duck lips, Bryant says she was swayed by all those celeb snaps she sees on Instagram.

"Seeing bigger lips are in now made me start thinking when I looked in the mirror, I wonder what I'd look like if I had more of a defined border," she explained.

At 24-years-old Bryant is far from the only millennial turning to plastic surgeons to improve their looks. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says use of fillers and injectibles like Botox jumped 87 percent between 2011 and 2016 among those 19 to 34 years old. From 2015 to 2016 it was a 31 percent increase.

"On any weekend people are getting dozens of pictures and it just keeps very top of mind awareness," Dr. Landon Pryor, from Transformations Plastic Surgery, said. "Our patients aren't necessarily wanting to commit to plastic surgery because they don't necessarily need it but there is non-surgical body contouring, there's non-surgical skin tightening."

It's these minimally invasive techniques Dr. Pryor says are becoming more popular in his office.

All those snaps and pictures we're posting on Facebook are causing older adults to take a closer look at their skin too.

"Women, men, in their 30's, 40's, 50's, that are also more self-conscious of things they want to improve in their appearance because of social media," Dr. Pryor explained.

Should we be worried about what all those selfies and filters are doing to our self-image?

"At any time a tool can become the master and we depend on that particular device or aspect and it takes on a life of its own because we're feeding it," Kevin Polkey, Founder and President of KP Counseling, said.

However, psychiatrists say for most of us it's not an issue, but if we become obsessed or hide in real life we should seek help. On the flip side, sometimes that physical change can actually be good for our mental health.

"They walk out of the office and feel great about it and they're back to taking their selfies and feeling confident in their pictures," Dr. Pryor said.

As for Bryant, she says the fillers give her more confidence and she's not afraid of going under the knife or needle again.

"We're all going to age, but you don't have to look your age," she said.

At Transformations Plastic Surgery lip fillers cost $600 per syringe. Most people got back every six months to a year.
Botox costs $15 per unit, that’s between $180 and $450 on average per treatment for millennials. The more wrinkles you have, the more units are used.