Finding the right angle to take that perfect selfie is an art form. Once you’ve seen yourself in that flawless light, with your cheekbones at their highest and your skin filtered to perfection, it can be hard to look in the mirror and see your true, unfiltered reflection looking back. At least this was the case for British mom Lucy O’Grady. Unhappy with her natural appearance, the mother-of-three set out to “fix” the reflection staring back at her by undergoing various plastic surgery procedures so she could look more like her filtered selfies.
On ITV’s This Morning, O’Grady said although she’d been on social media for many years, it has only been in the last few years that she’s been editing her photos with filters and apps and developed what she called “selfie dysmorphia.”
“What started out as taking the odd selfie here and there, I then downloaded the apps and started to edit my pictures when I took them,” she said. “I found when I was feeling down I would take some pictures. It was a quick fix to take pictures, edit and upload, thinking I look alright there. The trouble is when you look back in the mirror after taking away your flaws, you become dissatisfied with what you are seeing.”
To feel better about her reflection in the mirror, she began to undergo various procedures like Botox Cosmetic, fillers, lip enhancement and rhinoplasty. After each procedure, she would look for the next facial feature to tweak and adjust, only to remain unhappy with the way she looked. O’Grady isn’t alone: According to a survey conducted by The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), more than 40 percent of surgeons said their patients cited looking better in selfies on social media as their reason for undergoing cosmetic surgery.
In the case of O’Grady, although she still has an Instagram account filled with filtered selfies, she says she had to completely unplug from social media and put her energy into charitable causes to find the fulfillment and happiness she was seeking. All of the obsessive thoughts about the way she looked only caused her to remain in a vicious cycle that cost her time, money and greatly effected her self-esteem. Now she says she is much happier with herself and has a greater sense of purpose after stepping away from the mirror and turning her attention to others in need.
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