By Prashant Kumar
You will scarcely believe this but there are people in India who are undergoing cosmetic surgery and skin treatment to post a perfect picture on Facebook.
"Facebook facelift", a term coined by the doctors, is a trend gaining pace in the country with people aiming for more 'likes' and 'comments' on their profile pictures.
Various doctors with whom IANS spoke said people these days don't mind spending lakhs of rupees and undergoing multiple surgeries to get a "perfect photogenic" face.
"Everyone wants to look young and, in the age of social media, there is a craze among the netizens to look better in profile photos and selfies, by opting for facelift procedures," Anup Dhir, MD, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery at the Apollo Hospital here, told IANS.
Asked who - men or women - seek these facelifts, Dhir said: "Both men and women come, but there are more females than men, although males are catching up fast."
This comes as a surprise in the country where, till a few years ago, people considered social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ a mere "time pass".
Dhir said that for real change, patients have to undergo three interventions, with each procedure costing up to Rs 30,000. But he cautions that a facelift is not suggested for all.
Navin Taneja, director of The National Skin Centre, said that the trend is likely to see a major surge in the coming days with internet penetration in the country constantly increasing with every passing day.
"The trend has increased 200 percent in the past three years. It will keep growing with the time and advancement in technology," Taneja said, adding "people are getting more conscious about their looks and they want to look their best in each and every event."
He said it was not only the young who come for such a procedure, but people over 50 also opt for it.
"At our centre, the common requirement is of non-surgical facelift, wrinkle reduction, treatment for under-eye darkening, pigmentation, lip job, glowing and rejuvenating skin procedure," he added.
"There are a lot of men who want to look good and are willing to spend as much as they can to achieve this." he said.
Although no facelift recipient was willing to come on record, a photographer who shoots pictures for social media says that it has become an integral part of people's life.
"They easily agree to pay up to Rs.50, 000 for an album shoot to upload it on Facebook," Zubain Khan, founder of the Zubai Khan Studio in Delhi said. "We give around five to seven photos which they upload one by one as and when they feel like updating," he added.
Khan said the rate depends on the requirement of the clients which includes make up and location shoot as well. "College students are the most who come for such shoots," Khan said.