How do social media and filters affect our self-image and body confidence?
Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram offer filters that allow users to even out their skin tone and change the shape of their features. Snapchat dysmorphia is an unexpected effect of social media which leads young people to seek plastic surgery so they can look more like the idealized images they have created using selfie filters.
Snapchat dysmorphia is a body image disorder characterized by the need to heavily modify one's own digital image. According to body-image researchers, the disorder can lead people to seek cosmetic procedures to replicate the modified images they present online.
The impact of modifying one's own digital images affects not only the person posting the image, but also all those who see the picture and compare it to themselves, falsifying ideals of beauty.
Distortion of the Self-image
A large amount of Instagram influencers use filters and photoshops to edit their posts and it is hard to know which photos are real and which are not, due to the current level of photoshopping and filters. When we browse Instagram, our brains barely understand the difference between images and reality. Thus, the look of what we want to achieve is unrealistic and our body image is easily distorted.
I have been using Instagram for years and recently I have noticed how it has affected my own image of what I want to look like. I have got feelings that I'm not pretty enough. Feelings that I'm not enough for myself. I have created an imaginary picture of myself about what I want to look like. Even when I know there is no need or reason to feel that way, still, these thoughts come to mind and have driven me to use fillers to achieve an imaginary picture of myself. I admit, that my beauty standards are unhealthy and even when I admit it, it is hard to change them when the virtual world and the beauty ideals it sets are present in our everyday life. More than myself, I'm worried about the effect of social media on young people and the distortion of their body images.
Through Instagram, you see prettier and prettier people every day and you easily judge yourself for not being enough even when you don't know the real story behind the pictures. We commonly compare ourselves to unknown people on social media even when we don't know the true story behind the virtual world. Thus, it is important to separate the true and virtual worlds and keep our thoughts real.
We Must Remind Ourselves
It is important to remind ourselves what is behind the internet and how it might affect us. There is a huge amount of fake and unrealistic photoshopped or filtered pictures. We might find ourselves comparing ourselves to Instagram models even though we have no clue if the pictures are real or not and thus, setting ourselves unrealistic goals. We should not compare the virtual world and ourselves in a real life. We must keep our thoughts real and lead the way to healthy beauty standards on social media. Perfection is only achievable in the virtual world. In real life, no one is perfect but we all are enough and beautiful as we are.