In this day and age, Snapchat is essential to the socializing teen. With over 190 million users, Snapchat is one of the many social media apps that usually adorn a teen’s phone. But there is one thing that makes Snapchat stand out from the restー at least at its startー and it’s filters.
Through snapchat, users are able to virtually change their appearance, with filters such as “Daisy”, “Red Horns”, “Black Hearts”, and the famous “Dog” filter. These filters do more than just adding accessories or furry amenities, they also alter the very structure of one’s face, change lighting, and overall ‘beautify’ the user.
The appeal is easy to relate to, the filter boosts confidence and makes people feel good about the way they look– which isn’t always a bad thing. But, with the drastic changes being made, like jawlines being slimmed by inches at a time or eyes expanding to the size of a ping-pong ball, users begin to wonder why they don’t actually look like that in the mirror.
Known as Snapchat Dysmorphia, this feeling isn’t uncommon. In today’s society, perfection, beauty, and attractiveness all tie into the main goal of humanity, to be popular, get lots of likes, and have everyone’s approval. It may seem vain, but the majority of people strive to look the same way they look in filters– with no blemishes, crooked noses, or double chins. Snapchat is a main contributor to this, and these goals are almost impossible. Even plastic surgeons can’t create the perfect human, and they can’t fix every flaw you have.
Snapchat Dysmorphia creates unhealthy expectations that are simply unreachable. This costs a toll to those who rely too heavily on their filters to make them appear unnaturally beautiful, and is the exact opposite of what is trying to be accomplished by the body positivity movement. Instead of changing faces to look more ‘traditionally attractive’ we should be supporting everyone and accepting our differences. The fact is, we won’t evolve as a community if we are too focused on looks.
Eliminating this problem is unlikely due to its commonality, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be helped. The truth is, nobody is going to stop using Snapchat filters– that much is obvious; however, being made aware of Snapchat Dysmorphia is the first step to solving the problem. So next time you log into snapchat to take as selfie, remember that the person on the screen is not the same person in front of the camera.