Blindly influenced by social posts by celebrities and influencers, the “one look fits all” mentality has taken more precedence than a realistically achievable physique, causing unhealthy self-perception and the dangerous rise of botched surgeries.
SINGAPORE, October 2022 — Since the rise and popularity of social media celebrities and influencers in the late 2000s, men and women are in a constant bombardment of unrealistic perfect beauty images. The increasing number of people becoming obsessed with desires to emulate a particular appearance or body shape is a worrying sign, as observed in his practice by Dr Ivan Puah, Chairman of the Lipo Peer Review Committee and experienced liposuction and gynecomastia doctor in Singapore. It is the duty of the body sculpting doctor to lift the lid on notions of “perfection” to educate patients on what can or cannot be achieved and ultimately manage their result expectations.
Unrealistic Beauty On Social Media Has Caused Unhealthy Self-perception
A Toronto York University study  found that the “slim-thick” image – the flat stomach, toned thighs, thin waist and large derrière appearance as popularised by many celebrities such as the Kardashians – causes more distress than serves as an aspiration among young women; more so than images of skinny women. Men are not spared from the idea of male physique perfection, which inevitably knocks their self-confidence and affects their mental well-being.
The “one look fits all” mentality has taken more precedence than what is essentially more critical, which is a realistically achievable physique. People hold celebrities and social media influencers high up on the pedestal, yearning for the lifestyle, and travel opportunities, down to the look and body confidence they lack.
“In my line of work, around 2 in 5 patients will show me images of glamorous and body-perfect celebrities or social influencers who “inspired” them. They want a flawless and curvy body, as seen in the pictures. This is worrying as it is a skewed type of inspiration. Being body conscious, as in wanting to be a better version of yourself, is a common aspiration. But not understanding what a better version of themselves is can lead to unrealistic expectations and unhealthy self-perception,” shares Dr Ivan Puah, medical director of Amaris B. Clinic Singapore.
The celebrities’ ageless appearance and picture-perfect bodies seen on their social media posts could involve more than just the necessary cosmetic procedures such as wrinkle smoothing injectables, dermal fillers, skin lasers, Ultherapy, liposuction, breast implants and fat grafting. They are also engaging the help of nutritionists, dieticians, personal trainers and daily self-maintenance programmes to ensure they stay in tip-top condition. Beauty filter apps are also perhaps used.
“During the consultation and clinical examination, it is crucial to highlight to the patient that they are born with unique body shape, muscle, skeletal and fat anatomy. I will work on correcting disproportionate body shapes and creating naturally shaped contours unique to the individual, so it is balanced and aesthetically pleasing. The J-Lo signature S-curve silhouette, with round and perky butt, is perfect on her because of her naturally curvaceous Latin-American genes. It would look quite disproportionate and unnatural for someone whose body shape is more lanky and thin,” explains Dr Ivan Puah.
The Dangerous Rise Of Botched Cosmetic Surgeries And Aesthetic Treatments
Botched cosmetic surgeries and aesthetic treatments are on the rise, commonly due to the media’s portrayal of skewed and unrealistic pictures of the perfect, flawless and unattainable appearance, inexperienced doctors who lack the skill set, providers who hard sell unsuitable treatments to patients to gain market share, and lastly, mismanagement of patient’s expectations and miscommunications between doctor and patient.
“The concept of ideal face and body type are ever-changing throughout the history of mankind and more so in the era of social media. After seeing thousands of faces and body shapes in my body sculpting career, the ideal of a “perfect body” does not exist, as the idea of perfection is subjective, making the “ideals” meaningless. If anyone wants to opt for body contouring surgery or aesthetic treatments, it should not be done based on emulating someone else but to be an improved and better version of themselves,” shares Dr Ivan Puah.
Being a better version of oneself is to look better today than yesterday and not fake or like someone else.
REFERENCE McComb, S. E., & Mills, J. S. (2022). The Effect Of Physical Appearance Perfectionism And Social Comparison To Thin-, Slim-Thick-, And Fit-Ideal Instagram Imagery On Young Women’s Body Image. Body Image, 40, 165-175.
ABOUT DR. IVAN PUAH
Dr Ivan Puah is the Medical Director of Amaris B. Clinic, a medical aesthetics, sculpting and fitness clinic in Singapore. He obtained his VASER® Body Sculpting training in Colorado and Argentina. He also received training and guidance in syringe liposculpture, fat grafting and thread lift by renowned French plastic surgeon, Dr Pierre Francois Fournier, and dedicated surgical training in gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco. In Singapore, Dr Ivan Puah is accredited by the Ministry of Health to perform liposuction and serves as the Chairman of Lipo Peer Review Committee in Singapore.
Dr Ivan Puah holds a Graduate Diploma in Family Dermatology from NUS, a Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture from TCMB, and a Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine from LKCMedicine, NTU. He is also the appointed trainer by Allergan and Merz for fellow doctors on Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Fillers, as well as the appointed trainer for N-Cog Thread and Picocare Laser from Venusys Medical in Singapore.
OTHER SIGNATURE AESTHETICS & SCULPTING TREATMENTS AT AMARIS B. CLINIC
Established in 2004, Amaris B. Clinic has been providing medical aesthetics and body sculpting services. Amaris B Clinic’s forte lies in body sculpting – surgically removing stubborn fat pockets to sculpt and shape different areas of the body through various services offered. Amaris B. Clinic received recognition as the Body Sculpting Clinic of the Year in the Asia Pacific in 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019. The clinic was also awarded “2022 Gynecomastia Clinic of the Year in the Asia Pacific” and “2020 Integrated Healthcare Medical Centre of the Year in the Asia Pacific” by GlobalHealth Asia Pacific. The clinic has also bagged the Best Innovative Treatments for Dr Ivan Puah’s proprietary liposuction technique, VASER Lipo With MDC-Sculpt® Lipo Technique from Daily Vanity’s Spa & Hair Awards in 2022 and 2021, and Honeycombers’ Love Local Awards 2021 – Editor’s Choice Winner: Best Aesthetics Clinic In Singapore.
The clinic’s signature treatments include: