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‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’: Blurring the Lines Between the Real and the Filtered

CW: This article talks about body appearance/image which can be distressing to some readers.


What is 'snapchat dysmorphia'?


Image Source: Ali Pazani


In the digital age, social media has become major platform for self-expression and connecting to vast audiences globally. This has made easier for people to stay connected and advertisement much easier for both general public and businesses. However, just like everything has a drawback when not used in a right way, so does social media as there is a rise seen to a concerning phenomenon known as "Snapchat dysmorphia."


This term refers to a distorted perception of one's appearance, fueled by a lot of exposure to filtered and edited images on platforms like Snapchat. The line between reality and the idealized, filtered version of oneself has become increasingly blurred, leading to potential psychological consequences.


Did I, too fall for this?


This does not only impact the one that is using it negatively but also those that are following them. And majority of us has fallen victim to this, including me. I remember a year ago I used to follow certain social media influencers that used a lot of filtered images all the time that I started losing myself confidence as I often used to compare myself to them. These influencers use a lot of filters to smooth out their skin to such extend that is unrealistic and they advertise products for which they are paid to their audiences to buy to get ‘’smooth skin like theirs’’ and many of us fall for this.


How does snapchat dysmorphia impact the one doing this and audiences?


The Impact of Filters: Snapchat filters, with their ability to instantly enhance and alter facial features, have gained immense popularity. These filters offer users flawless skin, enlarged eyes, thinner noses, and other exaggerated features, creating an unrealistic beauty standard. As a result, individuals may develop a distorted self-image, feeling dissatisfied with their natural appearance.

Image Source: Mart Production


Psychological Consequences: Snapchat dysmorphia can have severe psychological consequences, including low self-esteem, body dysmorphic disorder, and even depression. The pressure to conform to an idealised appearance can lead to a constant dissatisfaction with one's looks and a feeling of inadequacy. The desire to achieve the unattainable standards set by filters may drive individuals towards risky behavior, such as excessive cosmetic procedures.

natural beauty, body image, snapchat dysmorphia
body image, snapchat dysmorphia, more natural beauty

Image Source: RDNE Stock Project


Promoting Authenticity: To counter the negative impact of Snapchat dysmorphia, it is crucial to promote authenticity and self-acceptance. Education and awareness campaigns about the deceptive nature of filtered images can help individuals understand that the perfection portrayed online is often far from reality. Encouraging users to appreciate their unique qualities and embrace imperfections can foster a healthier self-image. And unfollowing of those influencers that are excessively using filtered images.


Conclusion


Thus, Snapchat dysmorphia highlights the alarming consequences of blurring the lines between the real and the filtered. While filters can be a fun way to experiment with appearance, they should not dictate perception of beauty. It is essential to cultivate a culture that values authenticity and promotes the beauty of diversity. By embracing our natural selves and encouraging others to do the same, we can create a healthier relationship with social media and promote genuine self-confidence and acceptance.



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