Perfect lips, clear skin and defined cheekbones are all part of Western culture’s idea of beauty. Social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook let you have all three of those characteristics in just one click. Do you think these apps are boosting our self-esteem or bringing it down?
I think they are giving us false ideas of beauty that cannot be replicated, and because of this, our society’s natural self-esteem is as low as ever.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, these apps are creating a false image of one’s self which makes people focus on their flaws, a disorder called body dysmorphic disorder.
Body dysmorphia starts when a person is obsessed with how they look and is convinced they always look a certain way. This can lead to depression and anxiety in those who are diagnosed with this disorder because of their constant negative thoughts about their body.
In order to start getting rid of this body dysmorphia in women and men, we need to stop endorsing things that completely distort our faces. It gives us a false idea of how we should look when not everyone has to look the same.
Matthew Schulman, a plastic surgeon in New York, said patients have been coming in with Snapchat filtered selfies to show what they want done to their body, according to the Huffington Post. This is dangerous.
When did it become OK for us to become a version of ourselves portrayed by a computer filter?
Snapchat filters are making it harder for some to even remember how they looked to begin with.
I know I am guilty of going straight to a Snapchat filter as soon as I open the app, but this needs to stop.
Some may argue, “I’m just doing it for fun,” and “It just gives the conversation more liveliness.” But if these two arguments were the only reasons people use Snapchat filters, then we would not have beautiful men and women going to plastic surgeons begging to change their faces to look like the filters.
Men and women should not have to live to such impossible expectations of beauty. Every single human has flaws. There is not one human that naturally has all three of our impossible-to-reach characteristics of beauty: perfect lips, clear skin and defined cheekbones.
“There’s an issue with losing perspective on what you actually look like, and it’s not something we talk about much,” said Renee Engeln, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, to the Huffington Post.
Engeln also said that before the days of social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram, heavily-edited photos were usually reserved for models and advertisements.
Why are we trying to be someone we are not? Why are we purposefully making ourselves look not like ourselves in photos?
I’ll tell you why: Because of pressure, the media, the humanly impossible expectations of beauty and so much more.
Men and women: Let’s start today and change the world’s inhuman perspective of beauty.