Two little clicks, and it’s done!

Using filters on our photos is so easy. Two little clicks, and it’s done! This automatic practice has become common, but is it safe? No! The use of filters has several negative impacts. This standardization of aesthetics can be addictive.

Cottonbro | Pexels

With the majority of these filters, the nose is refined, the eyes more prominent and almond-shaped, the skin brighter and smoother: a dysmorphophobia disorder can then be triggered because of excessive use of these filters, warned a group of researchers from Boston University. Their study, published in the medical journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, found that teens were increasingly presenting a plastic surgeon with a photo of themselves with a filter to show what they would like to look like. Contrary to what one might think, these filters do not make us like our physical appearance more. On the contrary! After applying a filter to our selfies, we would be more critical of our image. The more the filter brings essential transformations to the face, the more frequent this use is, and the more critical the negative consequences would be.

Filters also harm people who are exposed to retouched photos. Let me explain. What happens when you see retouched photos? As you know, we see many faces and bodies paraded through the media and social networks, but most of what we see is filtered, altered, or photo shopped. We almost forget what a regular face or body is.  Physical imperfections are so well corrected by filters that we come to believe that the presence of flaws is abnormal. Humans need to have a relatively accurate idea of what is expected and what is average. Because human beings compare themselves, it is in his nature. Comparing himself to others serves to evaluate and reassure himself. Comparing ourselves to people who correspond to the average allows us to make a relatively fair evaluation. It is then possible to get a feeling of personal satisfaction, more or less high.

But the problem is that with the increasing use of filters and other equivalent applications, we have come to compare our natural faces to digitally retouched faces. This necessarily leads to a feeling of failure and inadequacy. Using a filter on your photos is so easy and can be tempting! But remember that this small gesture can harm yourself and others. By forgetting about filters, you choose to take care of yourself and your physical image. You are choosing to limit the spread of unrealistic beauty standards and share an authentic version of yourself with others. It’s also a great way to take care of others. Fortunately, more and more movements like the body-positive movement are advocating naturalness and self-acceptance, bringing a fresh wind of self love on social networks. 

Nourada Chaffai

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