Technology has a Midas touch when it comes to marketing, and this has been true for every industry imaginable. Clothing companies have been able to compete with major fashion houses thanks to the advent of Instagram ads. Construction companies have gotten new ways to connect to potential buyers and establish trust thanks to reviewer-rated sites like Angie’s List.

As technology continues to innovate, new industries are reaping the rewards that come with it. One of the newest industries to go beyond marketing via a regular website is the plastic surgery industry—and believe it or not, the people who started the newest wave of marketing were the clients themselves!

Rise of Selfie Culture

It’s no secret that the social media marketing platform known as Instagram has caused multiple trends to rise up in society, particularly among Millennials and Generation Z. The photography-centric platform has become the de facto way to share photos of yourself online. It didn’t take long for Instagram to become somewhat competitive when it comes to aesthetics.

Selfie Culture, as it’s called, has given many young people around the world a more extreme version of an age-old goal. It’s a culture that has grown to emphasize the importance of being photogenic, looking good, and always presenting yourself the best way possible.

With the demand for better photos every single day, it’s not surprising that there has been a notable uptick in interest for plastic surgery. The quest for the ultimate selfie is one that has become impressively competitive, and many people have found fame and careers through their photogenic Instagram visages.

Technologically Enhanced Beauty

Instagram’s runaway success gave birth to a new wave of mobile photo editing software kits. New photo filters, small editing kits, and special Snapchat effects are the norm. Obviously, this has become a new way to increase a person’s aesthetics—but there’s only so far that editing software can go.  According to Reektia Gala, Augmented Reality expert of CEO of VRARE, Beauty and Aesthetics industry are leading the trend for use in Augmented Reality.  Reekita shares as “patients and customers wants to see the results before they undergo a procedure or get a beauty treatment”  

Of course, there’s only so far filters and tweaked images can go.

The New Aesthetic Instagram

To get good video shots and reduce the amount of obvious tampering, would-be Instagram models are starting to take a look into plastic surgery. Instagram-based models and major celebrities, such as Kylie Jenner, have also started to emphasize the importance of getting cosmetic surgery to improve their looks.

On Instagram, it’s started to turn into a phenomenon that’s often backed by plastic surgery groups. Hashtags discussing ideal plastic surgery looks, such as #nosegoals and tags showing off “Kylie lips” are proof that the widespread acceptance of plastic surgery is spreading.

“This Is What I’d Want To Look Like.”

Selfie Culture’s widespread appeal has made Millennials and Generation Z take a different approach to illustrating their needs—especially among plastic surgery candidates. Rather than just try to describe what they want, more patients than ever before are now showing their own renditions of their ideal “before and after” photos to surgeons.

Dr. Philip J. Miller, one of New York’s top rhinoplasty surgeons, noted, “I’ve seen many of my patients use selfies to illustrate the changes they want to have. Sometimes, it’s of how they want to look. Other times, it’s of how they currently appear and then they point out what needs to change.”  Dr. Miller is also an avid photographer as he also cautions not to be obsessed over selfies as sometimes camera angles can be deceiving.

It appears that Dr. Miller is not alone in his observations. A recent study showed that approximately 55 percent of aesthetic surgeons have had a patient bring in selfies to their consultation—a 13 percent increase from the year before. This trend shows no sign of slowing down, and many are even starting to believe it could become the norm.

Taking It To The Next Level

Some firms are noticing how much more interactive and image-based plastic surgery has become, and are adding an even more technologically enhanced spin. One of the newest ways that plastic surgery  and aesthetic medicine is being marketed is augmented reality, or, the use of software to blur the lines between the tech world and what the human mind can see.

Augmented reality marketing firms are now creating apps and software kits that allow plastic surgeons to get better guidance on what their patients want, and even show patients their expected results. So, getting a better consultation could end up being as simple as wearing your own Oculus Rift.

Reekita Gala is the head of one such firm, and if anyone has seen augmented reality’s application in use, it’s her. She has personally helped develop multiple technologies that offer unique AR marketing software, and the results have been spectacular.

“We have had many clients come back to us to tell us how much more confident their clients have become since using AR apps to market services to them,” she says. “It’s definitely the next step in an already very technology-focused world.”

This isn’t to say that AR has become limited to marketing in the plastic surgery world, either. There are also programs in use that have helped doctors perform their procedures faster, more accurately, and safer than anything before.

Getting Better All The Time

Anyone who has read up on plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine  can tell you that it’s an industry that is constantly evolving and remains incredibly knowledge-based. For many doctors, the best way to establish clout among patients and fellow professionals is to show that your knowledge remains ahead of the curve. Or, better yet, to show that you can be a trailblazer among one of the toughest industries in the world.

It’s this incredible drive and work ethic that has led to amazing advances in the world of plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine—both the actual techniques used, as well as the ways it’s marketed towards consumers and patients. Needless to say, seeing how aesthetic professionals will adapt to the rise of Selfie Culture will remain a fascinating thing to watch. Only time can tell how far this new reach of tech will go.