Filters that alter your appearance have become almost a staple for many social media users but Instagram has decided they do more harm than good. In a bid to address the ever-increasing awareness of the damage social media is doing to young people and their mental health, Instagram will remove all augmented reality filters that promote or depict plastic surgery. This follows the new rules they introduced last month that dieting, detox, weight loss products and cosmetic procedures will no longer be visible to those Instagram users under the age of 18.
Many welcome the new rules by Instagram, who have long been accused of contributing to the promotion of unrealistic “perfection” that social media influencers and celebrities present through Instagram. Celebrities and Influencers also make a living from promoting products and cosmetic procedures that they put out there as the latest “trend” or “essential” in their often unrealistic (but apparently perfect) worlds, leading to many young people thinking they to must follow the trend or be left behind.
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian (and so many more) are creating images of “normal” that are simply unattainable causing many young users to feel self-conscious and dissatisfied with their own appearance leading them to diets, enhancements, surgical and non surgical procedures to “improve” their appearance. Studies show that continual exposure to images of people with cosmetic enhancement and filters affected the viewers’ perceptions of reality, led to dissatisfaction with their own appearances, and increased their desire to have cosmetic surgery or their own enhancements.
The filters being taken down are those that manipulate the user to appear as though they’ve had plastic surgery, such as facelift, fillers or lip injections. Two of the more popular ones are FixMe and Plastica, but there are countless others such as “touch-up” app Facetune, and Instagram says removing these unrealistic images is the first step in ensuring Instagram is a “positive experience for people” and to move their app away from being damaging for teens and more vulnerable users. More and more young people are becoming depressed that they don’t naturally look like the filtered or photoshopped version of themselves, initially led by what was called “Snapchat dysmorphia” where many affected youths could not come to terms with their so called flaws and imperfections after seeing their “perfect” selves through the eyes of Snapchat filters.
We love this initiative from Instagram to help combat the increasingly worrying trend for young people to develop mental health issues based on their feelings of inadequacy and inability to live up to what social media is showing them as the norm. While we promote an individual’s right to choose what is right for them when it comes to what procedures and enhancements they have, we also believe in showing REAL people with REAL results fixing REAL physical issues (such as post-massive weight loss or post-pregnancy).
If you are feeling vulnerable or like you’re not coping phone Lifeline on 13 11 44.
Me – well I’m on the hunt for a new ‘face-tune’ app because I was just starting to LOVE using it!