Filtering Photo’s Isn’t All Sunshine and Rainbows; The Harm It Can Cause

Since the dawn of social media people have harped about how harmful editing yourself and filters are but I’m here to pose the question of why? Why did we feel the need to use them in the first place? Why do we continue to use filters or editing if we know it is supposedly bad? Does this all contribute to declines in mental health and self-confidence?

When I think back to the first people guilty of the overuse of filtering, I think of the Kardashian-Jenner family. This family has been subject to many Photoshop fails at the fault of their own accidental over-tweaks, from Kendall giving herself slenderman-esque fingers to the truth truly being shown in the warped shadows, they’ve been at the center of this over-editing epidemic since the beginning. Even Kim’s first-ever Instagram post is blurred in her face and very bright, the early 2010’s way of hiding imperfections.

Image via @kimkardashian / Instagram

Now they aren’t only guilty of failure, they have gotten away with sneaky edits for years morphing their bodies or faces in ways that make them look slightly unrecognizable in photos not doctored to their perfection. Now I am all for filters, go ahead and slap some pretty colours or other details to your photos, but I feel like the days have passed where we should feel the need to FaceTune every aspect of our faces. The Kardashians ruled Instagram in the early 2010s and their influence doesn’t go unnoticed when looking at face-altering filters available on the platform. Your nose and jaw will be slimmed, brow bone raised, and lips plumped. These filters can sometimes work seamlessly and go ahead unnoticed, truly changing your face into something it isn’t.

Photo via @milliebobbybrown / Instagram

A theme I try to make prevalent in my social media presence is authenticity, I feel as though if you’re editing your face so extremely you are in a way lying to your audience. It is showing this perfect image but that isn’t reality, some people don’t know that there is a filter and could become insecure because they don’t look exactly the same. Even if the filter being used is being advertised the passing on of the filter could cause harm as well. I know in my own experience, editing and filters made me too insecure to be in photos without them for quite some time.

So what do you think? Do you think that filters and editing change the way we view ourselves? Can it negatively our mental states? Should we move away from the overly filtered world?

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From Small-Town Girl to Celebrity; Wait? Is This A Romcom?

She went from uploading a “TRY-ON THRIFT HAUL” over 5 years ago to now amassing 12 million subscribers. 288 videos later, the last few uploads being vlogs travelling Europe, one of the biggest career growths in the span of five years, and an empire for her to look upon, who am I talking about? Well of course everyone’s favourite coffee-loving lifestyle content creator, Emma Chamberlain. The now 21-year-old internet celebrity took over in the late 2010s with her lovable sense of dry humour and now very mature high-end style, she had a quick climb to success. Emma started off simply by vlogging her everyday life in San Bruno, California, her audience followed as she’d go thrifting or get coffee at Philz Coffee, a life that many people could relate to and find comfort in. Emma spoke in a New York Times interview about her experience growing up finding comfort in YouTube videos and content creators. As someone who very much did the same thing growing up, it inspired me that my lifestyle casual content could bring me success like hers. As her audience grew her content changed now featuring other creators with big followings such as James Charles and the now-retired Dolan twins. She also started to upload vlogs travelling to different countries for fashion weeks, she would be flown out by designers and sent clothing one could only dream of.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 02: Emma Chamberlain attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/GC Images)

image via @chamberlaincoffee / instagram

Her love for coffee was one of the staples of her personality in her early career, this love and affinity for coffee led Chamberlain to launch her own brand Chamberlain Coffee. This wasn’t just your average coffee company selling whole means and cute travel mugs that she slapped a logo onto. You could tell there was thought put into the product line, and innovation as well. Emma’s first launch included coffee in bags that you would steep in a mug almost like a teabag. This was very new at the time, these coffee pouches definitely peaked my interest as well as many others, and after trying the cold brew singles, I understood the hype! This love seems to be wide-spread because since the launch of the company in 2020 it has made an estimated $32million in revenue.

This success story is very inpiring to myself and my career goals. If someone asked Emma Chamberlain her 5 year plan after her first upload gained traction, I don’t think she had one. That is that beauty of it though, it shows how powerful social media is in business and how unexpected the success can come. All it takes sometimes is one post , hook line and sinker, theres an audience. Social media carreers are very up and down at times with cancel culture being so prevelant but if you adapt well to your success like Chamberlain clearly did, things can only go up.

This success story gives me hope for anyone that wants to take the deep dive in content creation as a career. What do you think? Are you ready to dive in?

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Ignorance Can’t Be Bliss; Consciously Consuming

You’ve probably heard the phrase “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” at some point in life and I think this phrase can be very relevant to consuming social media content. With social media, you can only control what you consume to an extent. You can choose videos or content that pique your interest, but you won’t know the exact content until you watch said media. That’s why I think people who are blatantly ‘ignorant’ on social media are choosing to be said level of ignorant, you never know what will come next in a video you’ve never seen before. So you can only ignore things to an extent. You can’t necessarily escape any content you would wish to avoid, so why be ignorant of the issues that are so prevalent in social media? Some people who are against the very prevalent cancel culture in society choose to ignore the controversies a creator may have because they just want to consume their media. They don’t care about the reality behind the creator’s screen, they just want the content, so they choose to ignore the problematic side and support them like nothing is wrong. Your everyday consumer is guilty of this but so are content creators. This leads me back to my original statement of you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

If creators and consumers continuously sweep the problems under the rug people can get hurt, and if some situations get ignored they can escalate, the punishment should fit the crime though. I grew up watching creators like Shane Dawson, he was my absolute favourite creator and I loved him! This was in the early 2000s before cancel culture was really a thing and people didn’t really understand that racial comedy wasn’t socially acceptable and was harmful to people of colour and perpetuated racist stereotypes. Shane Dawson, who is white, had a character that he created early in his career named ‘Shanaynay‘, while acting as this character he would do blackface and often make stereotypical racist jokes about the black community. This character sadly was widely popular and he even sold merchandise of the character. He was profiting off of this character heavily. In later years Shane apologized for the character and all his past controversies but is that enough? Is an apology enough to cancel out all the years of racism and ignorance?

Tenbarge, Kat. “A Timeline of How Trisha Paytas Turned against Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star.” Insider, Insider, 26 Jan. 2021,

In my opinion, it does not cancel out whatsoever again, the punishment should fit the crime. Shane’s apology wasn’t taken well by many consumers but content creators were still standing by his side Jeffree Star and Trisha Paytas; fellow YouTubers and controversial ones at that. These creators had a large following like Dawson so even though they were all ‘cancelled’ numerous times, their careers didn’t suffer, until recently. Shane Dawson took a hiatus from YouTube for some time due to the controversies but is now trying to make his rise once again with Jeffree Star by his side again. I don’t think he will have success this time as his name has been run through the mud countless times now and people are starting to realize, he isn’t going to change. I won’t touch on the recent controversies that I’d say caused his brief YouTube departure but, they are not for the faint of heart, research them at your own discretion. Trisha Paytas no longer associates with him as she has been trying to embrace motherhood and keep her career alive. She is succeeding in using TikTok as her main platform now.

Sang, Zach. “Trisha Paytas on Her Relationship w/ Shane Dawson.” YouTube, YouTube, 15 Dec. 2022,

What do you think? Do you think that you can be truly ignorant when consuming social media content or will it always creep back in? Shane’s career met his demise more or less, a long time after the initial incidents but at the end of the day at least it happened.

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Dawson, Shane. “Taking Her out of Retirement for the Day 💄💋🔪 Https://” Twitter, Twitter, 25 Mar. 2018,

Froelich, Paula. “YouTuber Shane Dawson Catching Heat for Old Blackface Videos.” New York Post, New York Post, 16 May 2020,

II, Moises Mendez. “Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star Make Their YouTube Comeback.” Time, Time, 3 Nov. 2022,

Leskin, Paige. “The Rise of Shane Dawson, the Veteran YouTuber Who’s Been Embroiled in Multiple Controversies and Is Worth an Estimated $12 Million.” Business Insider, Business Insider,

Sang, Zach. “Trisha Paytas on Her Relationship w/ Shane Dawson.” YouTube, YouTube, 15 Dec. 2022,

Sottile, Zoe. “YouTube Star Trisha Paytas Welcomes First Daughter, Malibu Barbie.” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 Sept. 2022,

Tenbarge, Kat. “A Timeline of How Trisha Paytas Turned against Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star.” Insider, Insider, 26 Jan. 2021,

Protecting Your Privacy; How It Can Help Build Your Brand

When thinking of social media and getting into the business side of it one of the concerns that may present itself is safety and privacy. More and more celebrities considered to be ‘A-list’ or at least more known are more or less off the grid regarding social media. Just from conversations I’ve had with people about wanting to start working in social media, I can tell that privacy in this industry is a big concern, as it should be. There have been countless cases of celebrities having run-ins with stalkers or being the target of crimes. Some celebrities have even lost their lives to ‘fans’, the late Christina Grimmie being one of those celebrities.

When working in such a public sphere there are many ways you can approach the platform to ensure your own personal safety (i.e. using a screen name different from your legal name, not publicizing family members, ensuring posts are ‘strictly business’ etc.). This isn’t to say though that you have to keep everything in your life a secret from your audience, I personally find vulnerability from creators grounding in a way. This all is good in balance though, sure go ahead and make a storytime video on a dramatic situation, but maybe don’t use other parties’ real names. Protecting yourself comes with protecting others when working so publicly.

Photo by Antonio Batiniu0107 on

There are perks though to protecting your privacy aside from safety, you build intrigue. Take Kylie Jenner for example, with the birth of her son she chose to keep his name under wraps until almost a year after his birth. There is nothing wrong with doing this but with this Kylie ended up getting article after article written about her ‘mystery son’. When she ended up revealing his name she just said they hadn’t thought of one, but this could be untrue at the end of the day. We just have to believe what people say and hope for the truth.

As for those who don’t plan on working in social media but may still be avid users all the aforementioned tips can apply to use as well. No matter who you are, you can create an identity that is for social media and you should. Not only is it important for safety but potential employers can run background checks on any information connected to your online presence. If this online presence doesn’t match their ideologies they may go with another candidate. Using VPNs, separate emails for social media and business, and setting your privacy/location settings are all things that can help protect your presence online.

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Garvey, Marianne. “Kylie Jenner Reveals Son’s Name and How to Pronounce It.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Jan. 2023,,asked%20how%20to%20say%20it.

McLaughlin, Eliott C. “Christina Grimmie’s Killer Was Obsessed with Her, Police Say.” CNN, Cable News Network, 22 June 2016,