Covid-19 The Influencer That is Affecting Your Social Media and Self-Image

The world pandemic has influenced our lives in many ways from work to social interactions. Nights out and holidays seem a thing of the distant past. Some have found that they have more money for personal spending whilst others have been made redundant.  How has it affected you? Do you find yourself spending more time on social media? Do you spend more time looking at your appearance? Are you more conscious of your appearance when making video calls? Do you find you are thinking more about a cosmetic procedure?

During this difficult time, we have seen a rise in demand for consultations and procedures at our Cheshire based clinic, CLNQ.  This demand has been for both surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures as well as medical treatments.  We have seen a significant rise in patients seeking facial mole removal, laser mole removal, minimally invasive skin tightening and breast augmentation.  It has been difficult to meet the demand due to government restrictions, closure and accessibility to some services. We wondered what had fuelled this increase in demand so we conducted a survey of our patients and followers.

The majority of the respondents (99%) were female.  They were mostly aged 18-25 years (53%) and 26-35 years (36%).  All were considering or had a cosmetic procedure.  In this group, 94% were using social media more than once a day and all were using it at least once a day. During the pandemic, 88% of respondents reported an increased use of social media. Selfies have been linked to increased self-awareness of body image and seeking cosmetic surgery.  We asked our patients how often they took selfies and found that 27% took a selfie at least once a day with 16% taking more than one selfie a day. A fifth of patients reported taking selfies rarely or more than once a week. During the pandemic, 26% reported taking more selfies. It was interesting to find that 35% said they were more aware and 33% much more aware of their self-image during the pandemic.

We then asked about how they felt that the Covid-19 pandemic had influenced their decision to have a procedure.  Almost half of patients reported feeling more aware of their self-image (47%) and having time off work or working from home (48%) as deciding factors.  Interestingly, no one reported that they were worried about Covid-19 and risks associated with this. We also about factors that would influence their decision to have a procedure. The majority of respondents (92%) reported a desire to feel better about themselves and improve appearance (77%).  Cost of the procedure (59%) and the recovery period or downtime afterwards was also a factor in 42%.  There were some respondents that were influenced by others having procedures such as friends (22%) or celebrities (17%).  About a fifth (21%) reported that social media influenced their decision to have or consider a procedure.  Only one respondent reported Covid-19 would influence their decision.

This study shows that the use of social media in the 18-35 year old age group is very common with almost all respondents using it at least once a day and most using it more often during the pandemic. Over a quarter of respondents (27%) were taking selfies at least once a day.  The pandemic has made over two thirds of people more or much more aware of their self-image. This may translate into more people seeking procedures during this time. When we explored the factors influencing the decisions to undergo procedures we found a number of interesting factors. People feeling more aware of their self-image and time off work to allow recovery were the most common reasons how Covid-19 has influenced their decision to have a procedure.  Social media, friends and celebrities influenced about a fifth of people having procedures.

As we go into 2021, we predict that Covid-19 will continue to make changes in our lives.  The demand appears to continue whilst the availability is limited due to the current situation.

Covid-19 The Influencer Affecting Your Social Media and Self-Image