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Lusting or Dating: Is Tinder Making People Get Plastic Surgery?

Lusting or Dating: Is Tinder Making People Get Plastic Surgery?

10 years ago, I first saw Kim Kardashian’s face on the cover of a magazine that lined a grocery store aisle. When I first saw her face, I didn’t really think much of it. She was beautiful, yes, but she just didn’t seem like your average girl. She was just a little too pretty, perhaps, a bit too plastic for people to want to compete with her. 

She was just a celebrity. I never thought that people would go to crazy lengths to look like her, but here we are. I’m eating my words. Thanks to Instagram filters and Facetune, it seems like everyone feels the pressure to look like her.

We’ve always been a looks-centric society, but I’m not quite sure it’s ever been this bad. If you ask anyone who’s single, the standards for dating material have never been higher for men or women. With more focus than ever on dating apps, I’m starting to wonder what Tinder and similar platforms are doing to our body image ideas. 

Our world is one that rewards the beautiful, and isolates the unattractive. It’s getting pretty wild, especially when you factor in the decreasing cost of surgeries and the PR campaigns involving plastic. Straight up, I want to know if Tinder and Instagram are pressuring people to get cosmetic surgery.

“Dat ass, tho.”

It’s no secret that Instagram and social media have given us a newfound focus on looks. Good looking people get more likes, more attention, and yes, more status. Dating is all about attraction, and status is attractive. 

People, more than ever before, like to flaunt having a physically attractive significant other. It’s a status symbol that suggests that a person is attractive and successful. Studies even prove it; physical appearance is now more important in a mate than many personality traits that were treasured in the 1940s.

“They only want models!”

When I started to look online for dating advice, I quickly started to notice that looks once again came into play. Both men and women have started to blame their appearance for a lack of luck in love. Sadly, there may be some truth to it. 

Online dating is a very looks-oriented world. The idea that personality is always the dealbreaker simply isn’t realistic anymore, because it assumes that you always get a chance to speak to a potential mate. If you don’t even match with anyone, you won’t get that chance. 

Studies revealed that Tinder and other dating sites tend to have numbers that skew towards the good looking. Men who are in the top 10 percent of looks receive the majority of messages from women. Most average men have little to no luck on Tinder. 

Ladies have it only slightly better, though it’s still not easy to find love online. Being an average woman or below average woman in the looks department yields similarly abysmal chances.

“Must be six feet tall.”

In the past, looks and height didn’t matter as much as they now do. The idea of rattling off measurements you want in a future spouse would have been laughable in the 80s. These days, it’s not unusual to see both men and women specify statistics they look for in a mate. 

The phenomenon of people seeing stats and looks as a checklist is new, and is mostly due to the sheer number of potential partners they see on online dating. When you have more options, you assume you can be more picky. Considering that our culture tends to warn against settling, the higher standards aren’t surprising.

“Is she hot enough?”


Despite the higher standards everyone has, being hot doesn’t necessarily translate into dating a supermodel. It only really gives you more options to connect with the right person, which in turn, ups your chances of finding a good match. 

A study performed on people on Tinder revealed that most people overestimate their attractiveness. It also revealed that they tend to reach out to dates who are more attractive than they are. In many situations, more attractive people will still give less attractive people a chance. So, a little pickiness might be warranted in the looks department.

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”


Online dating is, for the most part, a visual endeavor. The photos of potential dates are what you first see. We all judge others based on looks. The number of potential dates you go on is also based on the number of people who are willing to give you a chance. The more chances you get, the more likely it is to find love. 

Dating is, and always was, a numbers game, at least to a point. More chances means more likelihood of success. So, what can you do when looks can make or break your chances of getting to talk to others? 

Well, it makes sense to try to improve your looks.

Our society has definitely become more open to plastic surgery in the past decade, with much of the newfound respect stemming from the Kardashian crew. Plastic surgery has grown immensely during the past couple of years. 

Many plastic surgeons have noted that patients are now asking for packages that can improve their selfie game or just make them more attractive. Some, such as Dr. Steinbrech of New York Plastic Surgery, have even heard patients mention Tinder when they ask for a surgical procedure.

“Is love blind?”


Attraction absolutely matters when you date, but so does personality. One thing I’ve learned during my time in the dating scene is that falling for a person’s character and personality will make you love their looks more. But, once again, it’s all about raising your chances of getting attention from the right person. A wider net cast means a better chance. 

At the end of the day, lust isn’t love. Lust can get you interested, but it is love that you really want. It makes sense to get plastic surgery if it increases your chance of making a connection. Even so, there’s only so much it can do. Plastic surgery might get your foot in the door, but you still have to show your sparkling personality in order to seal the deal.

Cover image via New York Post

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