Social Media Filters Adversely Affect Our Mental Health
The harmful effects on self-esteem persist even when the filter disappears
Freckles everywhere, defined cheekbones, thick lips, a fine nose, infamous eyelashes, big and shiny eyes, smoother skin… All this is possible without going through surgery thanks to the social media filters. Users cannot stop incorporating them into their selfies.
Social networks have an increasing weight in our society, especially in terms of beauty standards. The perception of the images we find in networks such as Instagram or Snapchat, together with the filters they offer us, shows their effects in cosmetic surgery.
The mirage of digital beauty
Medical journals have dubbed this phenomenon ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’, referring to the first social network to launch the popular digital masks that deform the face in real-time. The first filters allowed you to see yourself with, for example, big, bright eyes and funny dog (or cat) ears. But now, the rhetoric has changed. Today, the most popular ones have become instant beautification tools. A single click allows someone to radically transform the creator’s physiognomy, creating the illusion of bigger eyes, prominent lips, marked cheekbones, and a thin nose. And this is the new standard of digital beauty with which reality competes.
Filters distort facial dimensions. Surveys carried out by the American Academy of Facial Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgery show an increase in cases linked to patients' selfies: in 2015, 42% of patients said they wanted surgery to improve their image in the selfies, and the figure rises to 55% in 2017.
Many of these filters are designed to improve people’s appearance, so new beauty standards are being promoted. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) warns that this phenomenon is giving way to new self-esteem problems that can even lead to body dysmorphic disorder, which is characterized by excessive concern for body image, and irrational perception about your body, in addition to symptoms of anxiety and other psychiatric problems.
In it, the researchers explain that clients no longer come to the surgery to look more like their celebrity reference…