A woman who had R400,000 worth of surgery to look like Meghan Markle says it's helped her self-esteem
- Lawyer Xochi Greer, 36, underwent plastic surgery to replicate some of Meghan Markle's features.
- She received liposuction and fat grafting on her body.
- She also got rhinoplasty and fillers in her face.
In the time since announcing her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017, Meghan Markle has become one of the most influential people in the world.
The so-called "Markle effect" has seen fashion brands such as Outland Denim and LINE experience a huge spike in sales, and she even landed a spot on TIME's 2018 Person of the Year list. Her influence has become so strong that people are now starting to get plastic surgery to replicate the "Markle sparkle."
Lawyer Xochi Greer, 36, from Houston, Texas in the US, recently used Markle as a reference point for her plastic surgery
Greer starting meeting with Houston-based surgeon Dr. Franklin Rose around the time of the royal wedding. She and Dr. Rose decided to focus on replicating Markle's most striking features; Markle's presence in the media helped inspire the look she wanted for the surgery.
"I think [Meghan Markle] is a gorgeous woman with beautiful features and I felt like a nose similar to hers would look great on me," Greer told INSIDER. "Meghan also has a gorgeous strong jawline so I wanted to try and make my jawline a little stronger as well."
During her consultation, which was documented by the US TV channel ABC News, Greer and Dr. Rose decided to proceed with liposuction, fat grafting, and rhinoplasty. She also had temporary fillers in her jawline to more closely replicate Markle's facial structure. ABC News reports that Greer had $30,000 (more than R400,000) worth of surgery, though she told INSIDER she received a discount (she did not disclose the amount) from Dr. Rose for her television appearance.
Greer told us that she loves the final results of her surgery.
"I think I got exactly what I wanted out of it," Greer said. "The changes are subtle, yet just enough to give me that extra boost of confidence."
Greer's initial decision to get plastic surgery came after the birth of her third child, when she said her body did not "bounce back" the way she expected.
"After the birth of my youngest daughter, my body just wasn't the same," the mother of three said. "Bouncing back from a pregnancy in your mid-30s is not as easy as it is in your mid-20s."
She told us that she was also in the midst of a child support issue with her youngest daughter's father, which she said led to self-esteem issues at the time and chipped away at her confidence.
"I went to Dr. Rose to see what we could do to help get my body back to where it needed to be and to fix my nose, which was broken several years prior," she said.
According to media psychologist Dr. Pamela Rutledge, plastic surgery can lead to a boost in self-confidence if the patient has reasonable expectations
"Research shows that plastic surgery can improve psychological well-being if, and this is a big if, the expectations are not unrealistically high," she told INSIDER. "If plastic surgery results in greater social confidence then it can boost self-esteem."
However, Dr. Rutledge says that the link between beauty and confidence is more about one's own self-image.
"People who others think are attractive do not tend to be happier, on average, than anyone else," Dr. Rutledge said. "However, self-perceptions of physical attractiveness do relate positively to happiness."
Dr. Rutledge also emphasised that the psychological impact of plastic surgery relies almost entirely on what the patient is expecting.
"The psychological impact of the result will be positive if your expectations were such that you now feel more confident about yourself," Dr. Rutledge said. "They will be negative if you expect looking like the Duchess of Sussex will transform your life into hers or somehow connect you with her."
New York City-based plastic surgeon Dr. David Cangello of Cangello Plastic Surgery agrees that plastic surgery can possibly lead to a boost in confidence
"Altering certain features of the face to put them more in balance can have a serious impact on a person's appearance," Dr. Cangello told INSIDER. "And when it does, the outcome is usually extremely positive in terms of how it affects the way people see themselves, and thus how they interact with others."
When it comes to celebrity-based surgery requests, Dr. Cangello thinks they can make for a good reference point, but he also emphasizes the importance of having realistic expectations.
"As plastic surgeons, we have to be very careful about people who come in wanting to look like a celebrity," he told INSIDER. "If a person comes in saying that she likes certain features of a celebrity [...] this is OK, because many celebrities do have features that have 'ideal' aesthetics. And when we perform aesthetic procedures we are trying to achieve 'ideal' aesthetics."
Dr. Cangello said he's seen an uptick in Markle-related requests since her engagement - especially regarding her nose - and he thinks her influential position and "nice facial structure" are the reason why.
Greer said she loves the subtle results and is glad the surgery didn't completely alter her appearance
"I still wanted to see me when I looked in the mirror," Greer said. "There were just some things I thought needed a tweak or two."
Now that the surgery is complete, Greer feels that it's giving her the confidence boost that she was looking for.
"I feel like it has given me back a piece of me that was taken by some of the things I have had to go through over the last couple of years with my baby's father," she told us.
So far, Greer told us her family and friends have given her their full support from her friends and family.
"They see how happy I am now compared to where I was," Greer said. "They also don't think I did any drastic surgery or changes and I get told often that everything was done conservatively and tastefully."
For those considering similar surgery, Dr. Rutledge suggests turning to both a trusted surgeon and psychologist to make sure the expectations are realistic
"Anyone who is undergoing extreme plastic surgery of any kind, but particularly to look like a celebrity, should explore their motivations and the risks both with the surgeon and with a psychologist to make sure the goals are realistic and the desired physical outcome is attainable," she told us.
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