This Woman Wanted to Look More Like She Did on Snapchat — So She Asked a Doctor for Help
Jessica Rich spoke to Inside Edition about her decision.
A California clothing designer is joining the ranks of people seeking cosmetic enhancements to look more like their Snapchat filters, in a new trend doctors are calling “Snapchat Dysmorphia.”
Jessica Rich, 32, said she liked the way she looked on Snapchat better than she did in real life. So she decided to do something about it.
"I would notice how I looked so much better in the filters and I’m like, ‘Why do I look so much better?’” Rich said. “Since my face is smaller, my nose is thinner. I’m like, ‘Wait, maybe I should get it done because maybe I’ll look like this in real life.’”
Rich isn’t the only one looking for an instant fix for bigger lips, smaller noses and clear skin — all adjustments found in Snapchat’s beauty filters.
Neelam Vashi, assistant professor of dermatology at Boston University, said patients are now requesting more surgery to make them look better in selfies, up 13 percent from just two years ago.
People are seeking out cosmetic procedures to not only improve their appearance in photographs but also to look more like the filtered versions of themselves, Vashi told InsideEdition.com
“They can change contours of the face, they can change the tone of the skin and the texture of the skin to look a certain way,” said Vashi. “So I’m also seeing patients coming in wanting to look like that type of photograph.”
Rich joined in on the trend, bringing edited photographs of herself to plastic surgeon. She got non-permanent fillers in her chin, nose and cheeks.
But some doctors worry these filtered selfies are causing unrealistic standards of beauty.
“A photo-editing tool, they used to just be in the hands of the privileged,” Vashi said. “Now they’re in the hands of every person. So they really offer these instant fixes and sometimes unrealistic expectations.”
The procedures don’t come without risk, Vashi added.
“To give them the nose that they want to look good in that selfie, you would have to reduce the nose size so much that it would look abnormally small in real life,” said Vashi. “You would even have problems breathing.”
Without Snapchat, Rich said she wouldn’t have had the idea to alter her looks in the first place.
“I mean, it’s a blessing in disguise, but it’s also a curse at the same time because if I’d never seen those filters and if I never thought I looked better in those filters, I would never even consider doing any of this,” Rich said.
Some doctors have to remind patients what’s realistic, and what is better left on social media.
“I’ll show them mirrors in the room,” said Vashi. “I will try to help guide them. ... The first thing I always ask my patient is what is your goal, what are their expectations, to ensure that we’re in line with each each other.”
While not everyone agrees with her decision to physically alter herself, Rich thinks everybody makes their own modifications in some way or another.
“People get dressed up in the morning and wear certain things because they want to feel a certain way,” said Rich. “Just because you decide not to do plastic surgery or alter your face, you’re still doing it in a different way.”
For Rich, it’s all about looking and feeling the best she can.
"Don’t discriminate on other people who want to do things for themselves because you’re not them, you don’t know why they’re doing it and you should just be positive and encourage everyone to feel better,” Rich said. “It’s all about being better and feeling better and always being your best so.”
Inside Edition reached out to Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, for comment. In a statement to CBS News, Snap said its filters are meant to be a fun way to lower the barrier to self-expression and storytelling.
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