People often look to plastic surgery when they want to fix a part of themselves they are unsatisfied with. Sometimes it is also used when people experience some kind of trauma to their body that they would like to remove, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem arises when people set unrealistic expectations for their bodies which surgeons cannot always realize. A scary new Snapchat surgery trend is now contributing to those unrealistic expectations, according to a recent study conducted by plastic surgeons.
Snapchat and Instagram have become extremely popular when it comes to sharing our everyday activities. Both social networks allow users to take a photo of themselves and share it with their friends and followers. Moreover, both networks have a huge selection of filters which can make users look retouched, sweet, or even hilarious while sharing their faces with friends.
There is nothing scary in that until it becomes an obsession. Plastic surgeons now report a troubling new Snapchat surgery trend which has many people asking to look as retouched as the Instagram and Snapchat filters they use for editing. Medical researchers from Boston conducted a study and authored an article that describes the bizarre trend as “Snapchat dysmorphia,” stressing that the filters available on the most popular photo-sharing apps are deeply affecting people’s self-esteem.
Given that Snapchat targets a younger audience of users, many of whom are going through puberty, it’s not surprising that their self-esteem is unstable. Thus, people who see soft, smooth skin, large, shiny eyes, long eyelashes, and other attractive features through a filter in a photo-sharing app will often wish they always had those features.
The report in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery explains that using those filters could cause body dysmorphic disorder, which is a mental illness that can lead to unrealistic beauty standards and tendencies toward certain beauty procedures that are often unnecessary and followed by other negative outcomes.
App filters are different than Photoshop
It was once trendy to use Photoshop to edit photos, especially in the fashion industry. Still, Snapchat filters are nothing like that and represent impossibly perfect standards of beauty, resulting in an “an unattainable look” and “blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients,” the report states. According to the report, this bizarre Snapchat surgery trend is causing a desire to undergo plastic surgery in order to fully look how they appear when using Snapchat filters on their own selfies.
Nowadays, many people use different apps to make themselves look different, thinner, free of acne, and with large, shiny eyes, thinking the photos truly show how they can look. According to the report, patients are mostly requesting nose jobs when coming to a plastic surgeon after using Snapchat.
The Guardian reports that this is only the most recent study on the difficulty of distinguishing between what’s real and their life on social media networks. The report adds that such behavior can have negative impacts on users’ wellbeing.