Social media users have gotten hooked to filters on Snapchat and Instagram a bit too much as a sudden rise has been seen among people opting for plastic surgery to look like their ‘filters’.
The filters on such social media sites were meant as a way of fun, but they also set up standards of unrealistic beauty, triggering people to ask plastic surgeons to make them look life their Snapchat filters and edited versions, a syndrome that is now being called ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’.
Three Boston University researchers found out that Snapchat and Instagram filters were ‘altering people’s perception of beauty worldwide’. The researchers noted this emerging phenomenon and realized that plastic surgeons patients not want themselves to look like their filtered selfies with ‘fuller lips, bigger eyes, or a thinner nose’.
The researchers wrote, “This is an alarming trend because those filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients. It is known that the angle and close distance at which selfies are taken may distort facial dimensions and lead to dissatisfaction. Patients may seek surgery hoping to look better in selfies and social media.”
Snapchat dysmorphia is a version of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a mental condition causing people to become obsessive about their appearance and body image, a condition which has even resulted in suicides.
As per The Washington post, in a 2017 survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, it was found that 55% of surgeons reported seeing patients who sought surgery to improve how they looked in their selfies, a 13% rise from 2016.
The researchers pointed out that the availability of these filters and self-editing is a growing issue most probably to contribute to increase in body issues among youth, reported Business Insider.
Co-author Neelam Vashi said that social media is causing society to become ‘more and more preoccupied, obsessed with what we look like’. “It can bring feelings of sadness and then if one really develops this disorder, that sadness clearly progresses to something that can be dangerous and alarming.”
“Today, with apps like Snapchat and Facetune, one can alter his or her appearance in an instant and conform to an unrealistic and often unattainable standard of beauty. Now, it is not just celebrities propagating beauty standards: it is a classmate, a coworker, or a friend.”