With the rise of social networks and the latest generation of cell phones, digital photography took a quantum leap. The cameras integrated into smartphones are becoming more and more precise and allow taking photos with the greatest detail. With all this technology, together with social networks, facial and body filters have emerged. At the beginning they were only for photo retouching, although over time they have been perfected so much that they can create the ideal photos of a person. However, reality and the mirror show a different image.
Facial filters on social networks and their consequences.
The latest filters offered by the Internet, increase the size of the eyes, refine the nose, have fuller lips, pinker skin or more prominent cheekbones. In addition to looking younger, slimming the waist or concealing wrinkles. All this in order to achieve an ideal image of oneself, but in reality it is not the same.
This new craze for having a photograph of our face perfected, reached the plastic surgery clinics. It was even a plastic surgeon from the United Kingdom who gave a name to this furor, “Snapchat dysmorphia”.
What is Snapchat dysmorphia?
In the old days, people would arrive at plastic clinics with a picture of some celebrity as a model to have surgery. However, that changed. Today they arrive with their own photograph on their cell phone. They pretend to look like that ideal image of themselves with the retouching done by filters.
According to psychologists, this Snapchat dysmorphia has consequences that eventually lead to depression. Not managing to look like that stereotypical image of oneself, leads to isolation, low self-esteem and trigger more serious problems.
Adolescent girls are the most vulnerable. Mainly because they are the ones who use social networks the most. According to the English youth organization Girlguiding, more than 70% of girls between 11 and 21 years, publish their photos retouched by one of the facial filters. The problem arises when they have to present themselves in person and the other person perceives that they are not the same as the photo.
As a result, most of the time they do not want to interact with young people of their age or their social circle to hide this reality. This leads to isolation and even more serious disorders.
Some countries are studying ways to impose regulations. Norway, Israel, Great Britain and France are among them. Although legislation influences the labeling of the photograph when it is used for advertising purposes. In the case of private selfies, a state regulation could be taken as censorship. Thus, the problem remains unsolved.