I Got Surgery to Look Like My Selfie Filters

What happens when you want to look 'filtered' IRL, all the time?

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Dec 6 2018, 8:57pm

Cosmetic surgery procedures have increased 137 percent since 2000, according to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with young people contributing to the rise significantly. In what scientists have called "Snapchat dysmorphia," young people are increasingly getting plastic surgery to look like the versions of themselves they see in social media filters. "There's less guilt about undergoing procedures," says plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan. "Five or 10 years ago, people might have brought in pictures of a magazine cover supermodel. Now, they're bringing in pictures of themselves, but just in a slightly optimized way."

In this episode of Plastic Planet, Broadly visits two young women as they go through with cosmetic procedures on their noses in order to feel as comfortable with themselves in real life as they do behind a filter.

"Facetune is like plastic surgery on your phone," says Marla Frezza, who lives in New York City. Marla, who works in sales, believes that having a good social media presence is beneficial to her career. Part of that, she says, is having the perfect nose. In the time since face modification apps have become popular, she's become obsessed with using them before posting photos of herself online—something she describes as an addiction. "The more you edit, the more you get that instant high and instant gratification."

Nineteen-year-old Zamirah has been looking forward to getting her nose done for years. "When I get my nose done, I'll be able to take more pictures I want to take," she says. "I don't post as much on social media just because I'm insecure with the way I look." We follow Zamirah and her mom—who thinks her daughter looks great with the nose she was born with—as they visit Zamirah's surgeon and plan for the surgery. Her mom says, "I really wish she liked the nose she has, because I think it's perfect and she's beautiful."

We see both Marla and Zamirah through their procedures and recovery. After her injections, Marla turns to her doctor who's showing her her before and after photos, "That's what my nose looks like when I'm using Facetune. You've just given me what I've been giving myself—I absolutely love it."