Women seeking a facelift in San Francisco may be as interested as Dr. David Lieberman and Dr. Sachin Parikh were to hear the results of a recent study performed by researchers who set out to learn about the effects of a facelift or other facial rejuvenation surgery on perception. Specifically, the doctors behind the May/June 2015 study aimed to introduce and confirm the idea of “facial profiling,” which they defined as the process of one person determining the personality attributes of another person through visual observation.
The proposition is that we all practice this facial profiling every day, consciously or unconsciously, with every person we look at. Key facial features communicate certain attitudes and even personality traits to others, whether those traits are positive or negative or the perception is accurate or inaccurate.
One of the researchers noted that these traits, when negatively perceived, can inspire in others a desire for caution or distance because of our hard-wired genetics. Speaking to Science Daily, Michael J. Reilly, MD, explained that even what we may consider to be neutral expressions convey perceived personality traits. If a person’s traits are considered to be negative, other people’s animal instincts will push them to steer clear. Historically, we have a greater chance of survival when avoiding people who appear to bear us ill will.
Consider this: Would you be more likely to approach a stranger who has raised eyebrows, an overall alert expression, and a smile? Or one who’s got a deeply furrowed brow, half-lowered eyelids, and a downturned mouth?
The study’s authors focused specifically on 60 before-and-after photos of 30 women who had received a facelift or some other sort of facial plastic surgery within a five-year period. Aside from the facelift, the other procedures included eyelid lifts, neck lifts, eyebrow lifts, and chin implants.
Participants in the study were given a set of photos showing women before their facelift or other surgery, followed by photos of the same women after the surgery. The viewers were then asked to rate eight personality traits for each photo, judging each one for likeability, social skills, attractiveness, femininity, trustworthiness, aggressiveness, extroversion, and risk seeking.
The study authors’ conclusion: “Facial plastic surgery changes the perception of patients by those around them.”
The researchers found that the participants examining the pre- and post-facelift and other surgery photographs failed to note any statistically significant changes in four perceived traits: trustworthiness, aggressiveness, extroversion, and risk-seeking. There were, however, statistical improvements in perceptions of likeability, social skills, attractiveness, and femininity.
While this study certainly raises interesting points about which characteristics a facelift or other rejuvenating plastic surgery impacts, there’s little to no question that youthfulness has been and remains a significant goal of patients who seek out facelift experts Drs. Lieberman and Parikh and other plastic surgeons. The intent of most facial-region lifts, including a facelift, is to take areas that have sagged over time and restore them to more closely resemble how they looked in a patient’s youth, when skin was tighter and smoother, volume was distributed in aesthetically pleasing ways, and the overall effect was one of health, vigor, and vitality.
As a society, we’re learning more, now, about how a brow lift or an eyelid lift, particularly an upper-lid blepharoplasty, seems to contribute to positive perceptions of likeability, since a drooping or sagging brow can give someone a stern or disapproving appearance. Consider how skin pulled down in the forehead area can create the impression of a perpetual scowl. Facial plastic surgery intended to rejuvenate that upper-face area can simultaneously remove an unintentional expression that may have been sending the wrong attitudinal signals to everyone around.
Learn more about what goes into a facelift from San Francisco Bay Area Dr. David Lieberman and Dr. Sachin Parikh at Lieberman & Parikh Facial Plastic Surgery. Call (650) 327-3232 to set up a facelift consultation or discuss other options for facial rejuvenation.