Generation Z

The "rich girl face" look is Digiratians’ favorite surgery trend. The pandemic has affirmed a boom in cosmetic surgery among very young people, who should be educated on real consequences

10 January 2022

Posted by: Redazione Sotherga

Reading time: 4 min

For Generation Z, appearance counts

If Carrie Bradshaw belonged to the new generation, borned between 1997 and 2010, her first words in the book Sex and the City would probably is “welcome to the age of image ostentation”. This is what is happening to Millennials and post-Millennials who, with the peak of popularity reached by filters on social media and stars who sing the praises of positivity without renouncing a session at the aesthetic doctor, continue to live in a confused world, where appearance counts and clashes with the concept of well-ageing. Young people live their lives on social media and they never hide it. After all, according to the Zs, if digital correction can sweep away dark circles, reduce nose blemishes and increase lip volume, why could it not achieve that perfection in a lasting way?

Who does Generation Z want to look like?

Their reference looks are those of the Kardashians and the Hadids: high cheekbones, oval face, full mouth and pronounced facial profile. A nonsense that, in minds of this generation, can only be translated with the real retouching that emulates Instagram and TikTok filters, perceived as “easy” as doing hair and nails sessions, as opposed to serious risks that retouching involves. And it’s a shame to say, because the Generation Z really started out with good intentions, much more proactive than Generation Y. For example, they saw flaw as a symbol of identity – for some it has remained in this exactly way – and nothing for them is contrived, just spontaneous. Unlike the Millennials, who resort early to aesthetic procedures to stop time and signs of aging with fillers and botox, the Zs aim for the “rich girl face”, or rather the desire to correct the face in their idols’ likeness. Let’s call it an “expensive” face – on TikTok it is better known as the phenomenon of Clean Look – but not so equal, for example, to the very popular Kylie Jenner. Rather, what the Zs are aiming for is a face that is completely unique but that draws on the features that they consider to be the most beautiful. For example, Angelina Jolie’s mouth, Scarlett Johansson’s nose, Cara Delevingne’s cheekbones, Bella Hadid’s eyes and Anya Taylor-Joy’s porcelain skin are all attractive.

There is, in short, a trend reversal

No more the Millennials’ style, of almost imperceptible micro-retouching and as little invasive as possible to emphasize their beauty. Zs love the flashy, perhaps because they are already projected into what will be the 4th dimension of the Metaverse. It is precisely the virtual world that is influencing them. They all dream of a skin as smooth as the one given by filters and want to look exactly like they look in selfies or Instagram stories. And above all, what the Digitarians are aiming for is to have a “power” look like the Kardashian sisters or Chiara Ferragni, increasingly associated with the innate need to rise and achieve new goals. A recent study indicates that very young people are seeking out plastic surgery options before any other generation, making it something like a routine “in the norm.” Lip-flip and baby botox idioms are commonplace among the Generation Z. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2018, under 30 underwent more cosmetic surgery procedures than those over 50, and 55% of patients showed their plastic surgeon a selfie as an aesthetic goal.

A post-pandemic phenomenon

The lockdown has accentuated this phenomenon because smartphones and computers have been mirrors of defect amplification, and the concept of the expensive face is driving the Zs’ interest. It is not difficult to understand why people choose operations aimed at restoring an image that is increasingly similar – but at the same time personalized – to the one that appears in photos or on apps. Is it right to call it a “simple” beauty routine? The doctor finds himself, in fact, having to fight with ethics, if he decides to comply with the requests of a very young patient. As a psychologist, he should try to understand the motivations behind the requests, evaluating alternatives with the patient and informing on the best approach to follow, as well as making understand the risks and consequences. Zetas should be asking themselves not “who do I want to be like,” but rather what is best for themselves, in terms of authenticity.

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