Gone are the days when patients would bring in pictures of A-list celebrities as their wish pictures. Within the last two years, there has been a rise in patients who are bringing in wish pictures of themselves. Not just a normal picture, of course, but one with no pores and large eyes, a slimmer face and bright skin, bigger lips and lifted eyebrows. The culprit? Snapchat filters.
Before, airbrushing and Photoshopping was saved for celebrities in magazines. We had constantly seen what perfect celebrities should look like, but we never got to see ourselves in that same light. With thousands of apps available at our fingertips, airbrushing, Photoshopping and filtering has never been easier. Seeing our own imperfections is nothing new, but now what happens when the majority of the population has seen what they would look like without those imperfections? Welcome the rise of “Snapchat Dysmorphia.”
Snapchat Dysmorphia is a term coined by British cosmetic doctor, Tijion Esho and is a form of BDD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This is a mental condition that causes people to be extremely preoccupied with every perceived flaw, no matter how minor it is. This includes constantly checking the mirror or spending hours getting dressed and “made up” for the day.
We’ve all done it, right? Filters. Who hasn’t used a filter? If you can truly say you’ve never used a filter, I want to meet you and shake your hand because that is truly impressive. Here’s why. Apple’s most popular paid-for app in 2017 had 55 million users. This app is called Facetune. It is basically a Photoshopping and airbrushing app for dummies. I’m not calling you a dummy; I’m saying that they have made the tedious skill of learning how to Photoshop so easy that 55 million people have mastered the craft. That’s crazy!
What is even crazier is that altered and edited photos are only recognized 60-65% of the time, according to the 2017 journal, Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. No wonder we all feel so much pressure to look as good as our pixel-perfect, filtered selfies…we believe people actually look like that! Now I don’t know who needs to hear this, but let me tell you right now, your perfect selfie features are unattainable in real life. Cosmetic surgery or injectable fillers will never live up to the expectations you may be building up in your head. It just isn’t realistic. Dr. Slenkovich has before, and will continue to try to educate patients on realistic expectations and will even turn down prospective patients if their goals are impractical.
Maybe it sounds silly to you or sounds like a “millennial problem,” but according to the 2017 data from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 55% of facial plastic surgeons say patients, ranging in age, have requested cosmetic procedures specifically to look better for social media. And we get it! The DenverBodyDoc team has been very active on Snapchat since its inception. We dabbled in filters, whether for entertainment or vanity, but recently we vowed to no longer use filters in the educational content that we send out to all of our followers.
We challenge you to do the same! Post a photo of yourself on Instagram with NO FILTER and tag us using the hashtag #DBDFilterFree and you’ll be entered to win a free skin care package. Let’s get your skin and natural beauty shine without those filters!
Until next time,