'Beauty bullying' at school on the rise due in part to social media

ARMONK (WABC) -- Social media is a fact of life for most kids these days. And sadly, cyber-bullying can be too.

'Selfies' and other photos have led some students straight to the doctor's office to make changes.

One teenager in Westchester County was a target of the growing trend.

"I would just be in school, and everybody would be looking at Instagram all the time, and they would see my pictures, and..", said Jessica Caporale.

Her pictures, like any other teen, appear perfectly normal. But Jessica says students at her old high school in Armonk zeroed in on her biggest insecurity, her acne.

"Call me pimple face and stuff like that, and then at school I would see people laughing about it and, kinda made me feel very uncomfortable and made me lose a lot of self- confidence," said Jessica.

And so at age 17, Jessica sought help from her dermatologist in Greenwich, Dr. Kim Nichols.

Initially it was just antibiotics and face wash, but then, laser treatments and a filler, to smoothen the surface of her skin.

Jessica's case was not so extreme, her doctor says, but with the onslaught of the social media "selfie", so many other cases of beauty "bullying" are.

"It moves on to, OK now I want filler in my lips, and now I want Botox because that's what I see on TV," said Dr. Nichols.

And Dr. Nichols says the parents are sometimes just as insistent as their children. In fact, she estimates that about half the time young people come in for treatments, she has to tell them, "No."

"Yeah, I had actually a 12 year old, who wanted a nose job and what's funny is that the mother was actually pushing for the nose job, also," said Dr. Nichols.

Moral of the story?? She says, if you're a parent, leave your baggage at home. Instead, be aware of the increasing pressures.

While Jessica says her treatments certainly helped an age old problem: "Also grew up and got out of all the high school drama," she said.

And she says that helped just as much.
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