Stronger regulations on how celebrities and influencers use social media platforms are urgently needed in order to protect young and vulnerable people with their mental health, according to law firm Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors.
It conducted a national survey of 1,010 people which found that nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of the public backed an age limit being put in place on images and videos on social media from celebrities and influencers that promote or demonstrate the effects of cosmetic surgery or cosmetic procedures.
Michael Saul, partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, says:
“As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), we are stressing how dangerous it can be for young and vulnerable people, some as young as 13, who follow influencers and celebrities on platforms like Instagram who post potentially unsuitable images for an impressionable audience.”
“Photos and videos on social media that glamorise looks such as the ‘Rich Girl Face’ trend – marked by extremely full lips and shiny skin – has ushered in a new standard of beauty that places excessive pressure on followers to undergo expensive procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers and chemical peels in order to achieve the same appearance.
“This pressure can lead to many mental health side effects, including depression, anxiety, low self esteem, body dysmorphia and eating disorders in both men and women.”
In order to help protect young and vulnerable people on social media, Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors has launched a petition with government-approved register of accredited practitioners, Save Face, to urge the UK government to require Instagram to introduce greater regulation, including introducing an age restriction of 21 on content from verified accounts.