Millennials are readily seeking cosmetically created dimples, according to The Independent.
Dimples in Demand
The dimpleplasty procedure has grown as people under 35 strive to look their favorite famously dimpled stars, like Duchess Kate Middleton, actor Brad Pitt or One Direction singer Harry Stiles.
Dimples have long been considered to mark of beauty by many people. Some cultures see them as a sign of good luck and prosperity.
Those born without these marks of distinction have gone to great lengths to get them. Some popular dimple "exercises" include techniques like sucking the cheeks in or pressing on the cheeks for long periods of time to make indentations.
In 1936, Isabella Gilbert of Rochester, New York, invented a machine with the goal of creating dimples. Worn over the face, Gilbert’s device featured two knobs that pushed into the cheeks.
While these attempts to develop dimples may have left very temporary, dimple-like indentations in the cheeks, real dimples are genetic. They are a dominant genetic trait, caused by a disruption when the subcutaneous connective tissue of the cheeks develop. Dimples can occur in one or both sides of the face.
Researchers estimate that 20 percent of the American population has dimples.
If both parents have dimples, their offspring has a 50 to 100 percent chance of having them. If one parent has dimples, their offspring has a 50 percent chance of having dimples.
If neither parent has dimples, there is no chance that their offspring would have dimples.
Have No Fear, Dimpelasty Is Here
But hope for the dimple-less is not completely lost. For the 80 percent not lucky enough to have natural dimples, there is still hope for getting the dimples they want through the surgical dimpleplasty procedure.
During the dimpleplasty surgery, surgeons cut the cheek muscle and then stitch it to the inside surface of the skin inside the mouth. When the patient smiles and the cheek moves, the stitches pull the cheek muscle and make the dimples appear.
Done in about 30 minutes, the dimpleplasty procedure is minimally invasive and does not need general anesthesia, a benefit that makes it even more attractive to the millennial demographic.
Although the procedure gives people the dimples they’ve been dreaming about, the effects of the surgery are sometimes short lived. Some dimpleplasty patients report that their designer dimples disappeared a few months after their procedure. This happens when the sutures inside the cheek wear out over time and break away, causing the cheek to return to its natural place.
Millennial Desire for Dimples Driven by Social Media
Cosmetically created dimples, along with surgically enhanced belly buttons and dermal filler ear injectables, represent minimally invasive cosmetic procedures becoming popular with people between the ages of 18 and 34 in the United States, said Dr. Mona Alqulali M.D., FACOG, Ph.D.
"While procedures like those that add dimples or fix the shape of the belly button may seem like very minor adjustments to how a person looks, some people view these procedures as life-changing fixes for flaws or problem areas," Alqulali said.
These perceived flaws may not have been previously noticed by the patient but have been thrust into view as a result of selfies and social media.
"People are taking pictures of themselves multiple times per day and posting their pictures on social media, so they see those perceived flaws repeatedly and under a microscope," said Alqulali.
Selfies and social media play a role in the increasing number of cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. each year, according to a 2014 report from the Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Thirteen percent of the 2,700 member surgeons of the AFPRS reported that their patients cite the wish to look better in selfies or on social media as a reason for their procedure.
The Independent. Dimpleplasty: Increasing Number of Millenials Having Cosmetic Surgery to Create Dimples. The Independent. 23 July 2017.
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Resconstructive Surgery, Inc. Selfie Trend Increases Demand For Facial Plastic Surgery. AAFPRS. 11 March 2014.