Kim Kardashian is the undisputed queen of the selfie.
According to USA Today, she took 1,200 pictures of herself during a vacation to Thailand this year alone. The reality TV star is even working on a coffee table book containing nothing but her own selfies. The aptly titled “Selfish” will be released sometime next year.
But Kardashian’s selfie habit — and that of millions of others around the world — has its consequences. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) reveals that the rise of the selfie is leading more people than ever to seek out facial plastic surgery.
Perhaps the most extreme case of this is British make-up artist Jordan James Parke, who recently made headlines for spending $150,000 on some 50 plastic surgery procedures to look just like his idol — none other than Kim Kardashian herself.
According to a December 22 Gizmodo article, the 23-year-old Manchester native developed a desire to look like Kardashian after seeing her on TV. Since then, Parke has had lip filling procedures, Botox injections, eyebrow tattoos and a chin filling procedure.
While the average person might be taken aback at Parke’s post-plastic-surgery look, he says he has no regrets.
“I laugh when people try to insult me by telling me I look plastic or fake,” Parke said in an interview. “Do they think I’m going for the natural look? If I was, I’d ask for my money back.”
And he’s not done with his journey to keep up with Mrs. Kardashian-West — Parke says he’s already saving his money toward another nose job.
Parke is far from the only person to aspire to Kardashian’s signature look. In July, a London woman spent around $30,000 on plastic surgery, makeup and more to look like Kim, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Despite the fact that 24-year-old Claire Leeson says she’s drowning in debt from the procedures, she told the media that emulating Kardashian, her idol, makes her feel “strong, confident and unstoppable.”
Looking at these examples proves the fact that our cultural affinity for the selfie — and for plastic surgery — is undoubtedly influenced by celebrities like Kim Kardashian. And this trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon.