Social Media Filters are Damaging!

Image by Emily Clarkson

Filters on social media websites are digital overlays placed over photographs or videos to enhance or change the subject. Although filters may be a fun and creative way to spice up a photo, it can be damaging and distort our perception of reality. Many of these “beauty” filters suggest that our natural faces need to be altered to fit into today’s standard of beautiful and “perfect”. Using filters on social media such as Instagram and Snapchat can lead to insecurity and self consciousness. I want to focus on the fact that these filters are not real and that everyone needs to embrace their natural beauty! Each flaw and special part of you makes you unique and beautiful in your own way. 

Adding animal ears or a cool background can be fun and innocent but the outcome is very different when focusing on filters that change your appearance. Some things that the filters typically change are: smaller noses, bigger lips, a sharper jawline, slimmer face, more tanned skin, whiter teeth, and different eye colours. 

Many impressionable children, teens and even adults see influencers posting photos online using these filters to enhance their appearance.  This leaves people feeling inadequate and thinking that they should be doing the same thing to fit in and appear more like the influencers. I am here to tell you that you are absolutely perfect and wonderful as you are! There is no need to change your appearance to fit into society’s beauty standard. Remember that acne is normal, not everyone has a perfect tan or straight teeth and that is completely okay. 

Image by @the.narcasskin

Have you ever used a filter on a social media website? Has it left you feeling as though you are not good enough in reality? I know that I have!

Filters vs Reality. Social Media is Distorting Our Perception of Reality! https://bit.ly/3tFrpcJ

Beauty Filters are Damaging for Self Esteem! https://bit.ly/3tFrpcJ

8 thoughts on “Social Media Filters are Damaging!

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for writing about this topic, I think that it’s a very important issue these days and just adds to the problems faced by young people. I think that too many people are obsessed with their appearance and unrealistic beauty standards. Social media has just added to the issues created by super-thin Disney princesses, tiny-waisted Barbie dolls, and celebrities who have clearly had too much plastic surgery. For young, impressionable minds, it can easily lead to depression, social anxiety, and eating disorders. I think that such filters should be banned, as there is no real reason for them to exist and they do far more harm than good.

    Good topic choice, thanks for sharing.

    Laura

    • Hi Laura,
      Thank you for the kind words! You are absolutely right that people are far too concerned with their appearances and beauty standards lately. You make a very good point regarding Disney Princesses and Barbie dolls having bodies that are virtually unattainable. I love that Disney is becoming more diverse regarding the races that they represent now but I wish they would also include different bodies in the mix. It would be amazing to see a Princess or doll in a wheelchair, an amputee, a plus sized model and more!

      It is so true that what young and impressionable minds see on social media can unfortunately lead to self consciousness, depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
      Thank you for bringing up some thought provoking points. Wishing you the best.
      Jocelyn

  2. Hi Jocelyn,

    What a great topic and blog post! It’s nice how you weighed in with your opinion and thoughts, while keeping it positive and making people think. I had no idea some of these beauty filters existed for portrait shots, so thanks for bringing them to light. Although it’s not person specific, I use Photoshop to edit on a regular basis, when it comes to my landscape photos. However, I am cautious when doing so, and make a conscience effort to keep the photos close to natural and true, as I see it with my own eyes on any given day.

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave your thoughts, I appreciate it!
      I’m glad that I could share my knowledge on this subject with you. I think it is important and should be common knowledge so we can try to prevent it from continuing.
      I respect and admire the work that you do with photography and editing. It is definitely different to enhance the beauty of a natural image rather than use a filter to completely change it.

  3. Hello Jocelyn,
    Wow, that was super interesting. I guess I knew that some influencers like the Kardashians bumped up their images on social media, but didn’t realize how wide spread it was for “normal” people!
    Probably needless to say I’ve never used social media filters.
    I wonder as I’m reading this, how you decide what to “fix”. So, in 2021, maybe a thinner nose is appealing, but what if it’s not in five years from now? Do you continually fix your image on social media? How do you keep up with what is currently cool?
    Sounds like a lot of pressure and I agree with you that people can end up feeling inadequate.
    Thanks for your thoughts on this topic.
    All the best,
    Debra

    • Hi Debra,
      I always enjoy reading your thoughts and views on these blog posts. I’m glad that I could share my knowledge on this subject to you. Many people are unaware that everyday people use these “beauty filters” to change their appearances.
      You are absolutely right! Though in current times one thing may be a trend, in a few years it will have changed and I suppose we are expected to follow suit and continue with maintaining this “perfect” image. It is very difficult to keep up with what is cool so I prefer to stay natural and be myself. I hope you continue to do the same! Best wishes Debra.
      Jocelyn

  4. Hey Jocelyn,
    I am so thankful to you for bringing up this topic. It really makes you worry about the next generations of little ones doesn’t it? The best thing we can do for our kids is teach them to have confidence in themselves without the use of filters or social media for that matter!

    I have 7 younger siblings that look up to me and have just started using social media. I do my best to be a good role model and not use filters. I do have one or two I like to use but they in my opinion don’t modify very much.

    Thank you so much for the read,
    Sky

  5. Hi Jocelyn,

    Great topic and its an eye-opener on how social media is influencing us , even via filters ! For sure, this perfect look aimed filter will have a deteriorating affect on the social media users.

    Mohammad

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