Have you ever hated your belly button so much that you end up deciding to transmogrify its current appearance through surgery? As has been reported by a wealth of media outlets – prompted by this article in Allure – this type of optional operation is, to put it crudely, trending, becoming more popular by the day.
It’s one of a plethora of certain types of cosmetic surgeries that are, of course, medically unnecessary, but are chosen by mostly wealthy, aesthetically-concerned individuals to alter their appearance.
Belly button cosmetic surgeries are more popular with women, and in the summer, when one’s fluff-capturing navel is often more exposed than it normally would be. Umbilicoplasties change the size and shape of your belly button, whereas umbilical hernia repairs transform an “outie” into the more desirable “innie.” Other more specific operations are available if you’ve got several thousands of dollars to fund them, of course.
This reported uptick in requests for umbilicoplasties has been occurring for some time, it seems. Back in 2016, CBS News reported on the phenomenon, with the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and chief of plastic surgery at University of Chicago Medicine telling the network: “There’s a lot of belly button surgery going on.”
Whatever you think of cosmetic surgeries, you can’t deny that people are well within their rights to undergo them. People gain confidence through a variety of ways, and for some people, particularly those afflicted by injury, infection and so forth, these operations can provide a deeply personal reprieve.
Saying that, surgeons regularly mention the rise of social media, particularly the more aesthetically important Instagram and Snapchat, as a key factor driving the rise in cosmetic surgeries in recent years.
Data from the UK’S National Health Service (NHS) revealed that girls and women are experiencing a crisis in their mental health, one linked – among other things – to body image anxieties and pressures created by social media. As a result, per the Guardian, rates of stress, depression, and self-harm are also rising quite dramatically.
A study back in 2013 noted that “appearance-related social pressure plays an important role in the development of a negative body image and self-esteem as well as severe mental disorders,” with girls and adolescences concerned about weight highest at risk.
It’s a complex phenomenon, but sometimes, social media’s narcissistic tendencies, along with societal norms and expectations, are certainly redefining how appearances are prioritized and perceived.
The point is that, if you wish to undergo such a procedure, that’s perfectly fine. The repeated connection experts make with social media, however, suggest that the motivations behind such surgeries can potentially be are a little darker than you might expect.