The Ugly Handiwork of Selfies on Bridal Confidence

Barely anyone in the world can be a hand model like George Costanza on Seinfeld or like David Duchovny on Zoolander, though I bet Melissa McCarthy has really beautiful hands – call it my handy instincts. Trying to live up to their dexterity standards is dangerous, it’s best to just love your paws as they are, but for some soon-to-be brides this is proving a little too difficult.

These are Christa's hands before (left) and after (right) her hand rejuvenation. (Courtesy of Dr. Ariel Ostad) ABC.com

These are Christa’s hands before (left) and after (right) her hand rejuvenation. (Courtesy of Dr. Ariel Ostad) ABC.com

It turns out that some people might love their fiancé and their fancy-pants engagement ring, but they don’t love their hands. And instead of declaring their new engagement news immediately on social media, some soon-to-be brides are headed to the plastic surgeon first.

Due to veins and wrinkles from lost fat with age or genetics, women are opting for hand rejuvenation at the plastic surgeon’s office. I’m aware of women’s common gripes about particular body spots, but I had no clue hands were a thing. Instead of a fortuneteller being able to foretell the success of your future marriage in your love line, brides are plumping up the skin with JuveDerm.

According to Elle.com, “the procedure takes 10 minutes, costs around $1,200 (ABC.com listed $3,000), and will last about nine months. JuveDerm does not freeze muscle movement like Botox; rather it treats wrinkles by restoring lost volume. The patients can move their hands right after they receive the procedure.”

Once their hands are deemed pretty enough, brides then feel confident enough to post their engagement ring selfies (no word on whether they just pay for the one hand that will be in the sefie). To the fiancés who proposed to these brides, I would be very, very scared. If she’s willing to pay $1,200 to make her hands look youthful at what is already probably a youthful age to be perfect for her wedding, you can be sure that everything else about your wedding is going to be horrifically expensive. And if it doesn’t look good…well crap, maybe you shouldn’t stop wearing a sports cup till after the wedding.

The wedding industrial complex just got a lot more ugly with the contribution of social media, which seems to be driving these brides to the doctors. NYC dermatologist Dr. Ariel Ostad says “the procedure is not new, but he estimates that he’s had a 40 percent increase since the rise of social media and selfies (Elle.com)”. On ABC.com, Dr. Samuel Rizk, NYC agreed that social media was improving his business as well, “I personally would see two to three patients a day that have come in from selfies and social media.”

First off, unless you’re Edward Scissorhands, your hands are fine. Secondly, no one is critiquing what your hand looks like on social media. If they are, that’s person a jerk, you should unfriend them and not invite them to your wedding. Third, if it only lasts nine months how will these people ever be satisfied with natural? Watch the video if you want to see what hand-obsessed people turn into!

What is the most concerning about this new trend, is how self-esteem in this context is being achieved. A new study by Albright College reveals that those who seek validation online via their relationship have “relationship-contingent self-esteem” (RCSE) meaning “lower overall self-esteem and higher social anxiety.” They want social network peers to perceive the relationship as perfect because that feeds their RCSE. If posting an engagement ring picture to announce a huge life step can be easily thwarted by how a hand looks, it seems that exemplifies how fragile and hollow RCSE really is. Why not invest your money in something more productive that gives someone real self-esteem?

And on a related note, maybe people should abstain from social media until it doesn’t compel them to get really expensive, temporary plastic surgery. No matter how many likes they get, with or without the surgery, it sounds like it’s not doing them any favors. My spidey-senses are also picking up that these brides are looking at their selfies way too much that eventually they’re just negatively nitpicking over every detail now. Just because Kim Kardashian spends her waking hours adoring her 1,200 selfies does not mean other people should be too.

Finally, it’s tacky to post pictures of your engagement ring on social media. Any social etiquette guide will tell you that it’s in bad taste to flaunt your wealth (and maybe even your relationship) online. Not to mention using a diamond ring to announce your engagement means you’re more concerned with showing off the ring than the relationship. Last time I checked, and engagement was about the love between two people, not the hardware on your finger.

Once upon a time, people with rough, calloused hands were more respected. It showed that they were hardworking people, the salt of the earth and not afraid to get dirty. Hands represented a sore division between the working class and the fancy-pantsy one. Somewhere between the invention of plastic surgery and social media, people think that soft and delicate hands are better. I personally have always enjoyed seeing engagement rings and wedding bands on aged hands. Those aged hands tell me of a marital promise made a long time ago that is still honored today, and for me, that is the perfect representation of love.

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