The Happy Emoticon Effect: Changing Facial Contours to Turn that Frown Upside Down

Study demonstrates the social impact of a unique facial rejuvenation approach

TAMPA, Fla., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Improving facial expressions through natural-looking surgical rejuvenation greatly improves social acceptance, according to “The Emoticon Effect,” an original study from Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Christian Drehsen, M.D., that explores the link between facial expression vectors and social response.

beforeafterFor years, scientists have studied how humans perceive and classify emotions based on common facial vectors. Findings have shown that downward vectors – commonly associated with frowning – universally convey negative emotions, while upward vectors – such as smiling – convey positive emotions and youthfulness.

“Facial expressions and emoticons alike are instantly understood, as they symbolize with a few lines or ‘vectors’ universal human emotions or state of mind,” said Dr. Drehsen, Medical Director of Clinique of Plastic Surgery, located in St. Petersburg, Fla. “Unfortunately, as we age, these vectors often create unflattering and misinterpreted expressions that at times trigger discrimination, indifference or prejudice.”

The Emoticon Effect, which was published in the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, concludes that by improving facial vectors in a uniquely natural looking facial rejuvenation, patients will benefit from a much greater social desirability than before the procedure.

The study asked 80 medical students to rate a random selection of before and after photos of patients who underwent facial rejuvenation in terms of social acceptance. The students were asked to rate photos on a scale of one to five – one being very pleasant and they would like to meet them, and five being unpleasant and they do not wish to meet them.

For the purpose of the study, facial rejuvenation included a vertical Refresher Lift, modulated Dual Plane Brow Lift and sectional fat grafting. The Refresher Lift, a groundbreaking facial rejuvenation process developed by Dr. Drehsen, uses upward facial vectors as a guide to restore vitality and youthfulness to the face.

“This study amply supports the need for a paradigm shift in the planning of facial rejuvenation procedures,” said Dr. Drehsen. “While many celebrities seek out ‘quick lifts’ or other miraculous nips and tucks to mimic youth for their aging face, most of these blatantly obvious transformations rarely produce the expected positive responses from their social environment.”


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