Increasingly, filters become an obstacle to self-acceptance. 3D alterations that distort reality by creating – in some cases – real ones psychological discomfort. It happens to the new generations that they have to constantly confront themselves with toned images, made fluid by contrasts and saturations that give life to perfect faces.
In an increasingly toxic virtual reality, what happens when the perfect face no longer reflects reality? There Snapchat dysmorphism it is a disease that affects more and more young people. The cause? The exaggerated use of filters & Co.
At first they were dog ears and clouds on the nose. Ironic, pop and fun i filter on Instagram they had to be this: entertainment. But then something went wrong: on social networks the number of filters that alternate the shape of the face, adding freckles, enlarging the lips and shrinking the nose.
A condition that has led many beauty companies to question their role not only within the world of beauty, but also – and above all – towards young women, among the most affected by this situation. A reality that is spreading especially between the ages of 13 and 18, a moment in which adolescents begin to ask for a “touch up” as a gift. Among the most popular requests we find the lip fillers, rhinoplasty and hip reduction.
Lips, nose and elongated gaze: the most requested fictions
I filtri social however, they focus on some details of the face, the most requested in the searches of users to be modified. It’s Kylie Jenner lips the most requested for exampleto give the face a sensual and seductive look.
Obviously, the filter to reduce the nose and that to make the skin smooth and homogeneous by erasing discoloration e imperfections. Finally, there are some filters that lengthen the look by completely changing the face.
Yet not all of this is appreciated. More and more users show the before-after of the use of the filter, incriminating the use of these to the tecnica del Catfishing that is, luring online using an image that does not represent reality.
Snapchat dysmorphism, what is it?
Defined Snapchat dysmorphia is a disease closely related to body dysmorphiaand psychological disorder already well known to psychologists. It consists in wanting to improve one’s appearance at all costs, making it more attractive and focusing on some details that are considered as defects but which, in reality, are absolutely not.
Within this pathology takes over the eagerness to adapt to the altered image which was artificially created with the use of social filters, making your body or face correspond to an unreal image.
It therefore happens that looking in the mirror without filters not only does not recognize oneself in one’s appearance, but it is also considered annoying to the eye.
Norway forbids beauty filters, for a more natural reality
On 11 June 2021 the Norway has officially banned the use of social and app filters to touch up your body. A provision for Norwegian influencers and celebrities who will no longer be able to retouch their photos on social media unless they mark the alteration.
An important choice for fight the insecurity and low self-esteem of social networks and the constant pressures to which young people are subjected, as stated by the Norwegian ministry: “It is hoped that the measure will make a useful and significant contribution to stem the negative impact that such advertising has in particular on children and young people”.
A similar choice also in England, where the Advertising Standards Authority has decided to take measures against companies that using photographic retouching to make cosmetic products “miraculous”, as according to what was stated “the use of filters in sponsored posts on Instagram violates the provisions of the code relating to misleading advertising and exaggeration”.
ClioMakeUp and Huda Kattan against beauty filters
In Italy, on the other hand, were the same influencers who pointed the finger at the filters, defining what is shown on social media as “misleading”. The same beauty blogger and make-up artist ClioMakeUp has in fact published a photo in which her face is half natural and half filtered.
“Initially there doesn’t seem to be much difference: just the skin a little lighter, the nose slightly narrower, the pores less dilated, the complexion brighter, the eyes brighter ... In the end it’s always me there isn’t much difference, so why when that seemingly harmless filter disappears do I feel uglier, less adequate? ”, Asks Clio in a social post.
Even Huda Kattan, founder of the Huda Beauty brand when it launched the new skincare brand wanted a campaign completely devoid of filters. The beauty industry today chooses to become a tool of empowerment and not of insecurities, struggling to eliminate the concept of perfection and allowing everyone to feel represented by their favorite brands.
So, in a digital world where everyone looks beautiful and happy, what role do social media play on self-esteem?
Taking into consideration the role of influencers we are often exposed to unrealistic and unreachable aesthetic canons, people with lives (usually very well-off) show an unattainable reality, it therefore happens that a teenager who is very sensitive to external stimuli can make comparisons and feel a lowering of his self-esteem compared to what see on social.
The same is true with the “like game”. Constantly looking for approval and consent always young people seek in a spasmodic way, through their shots, a positive appreciation from the followers. Proof of this is the tendency to publish only the positive things in one’s life: creating a sort of virtual reality in which only social events, gifts or funny moments are shown.
In this way, the observer will think not only about how much the other people’s life is better than his but mostly it will trigger some sort of passive envywhich can lead to another major problem of social media: hatred on the net.