"If you don't look good on Facebook, then how will you make contacts?" That's the opening line of an online video that sheds light on what is said to be a growing trend in India: Facebook facelifts.
"Facebook facelifts are relatively minor procedures that people in their 20s and 30s get done to improve their pictures on social media," plastic surgeon Dr. Ajay Kashyap, says in the video that has been picked by Mashable and other publications.
Facebook user Jasmeet Singh, who admits in the video he's 'looking for a partner' via the world's most popular social network, wants to go in for a liposuction procedure because his Facebook friends say he should look thinner in pictures posted on the website.
Singh is not alone in this quest for 'Likes' and more. In the video, Anuradha talks about the great Facebook comments she got from friends and family after she got laser work and chemical peel done on her face.
But all this popularity comes at a cost. While minor procedures like Anuradha's cost between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 30,000 ($500), chin augmentation procedures, said to be very popular with men wishing to get rid of the dreaded double-chin, can cost over Rs. one lakh ($2000).
With such high costs, wouldn't digitally editing or 'photoshopping' your pictures be an easier and cheaper option? Pooja, who underwent a laser surgery to get rid of a 'bump' on her forehead, says that would amount to cheating. "You have to meet people in real life too. If you don't look the same as in your photo, then it's sort of fake, isn't it?"
The irony may have been lost in translation, but Dr. Anip Dhir, plastic surgeon, believes the trend will only grow further, as more and more Indians get online and start using social networking sites.