Flower Crowns and Unhealthy Self-Image

Alright ladies and gents, I will be the first to admit that Snapchat filters give my ego a little boost. I can be sitting at home with no makeup on and open Snapchat to find myself looking like a fairy princess with oddly glistening skin. Yet, I recently came across a video by New York Times contributors Amanda Hess and Shane O’Neill where they break down their opinion on the ugly and unhealthy aspect of Snapchat filters.

Before watching the video I had no negative feelings towards this app. No part of me thought I was engaging in a false reality that was skewing my own self-confidence. I saw it as a fun and quite honestly, stupid way to entertain myself. Who doesn’t think turning their face into a creature with five eyes is entertaining?

 

So, I watched the video and did some further investigation. There are hundreds of articles on this issue, all of which pose a good point.

I get it now.

 

As a woman in today’s society, I can say that we are put under tough scrutiny and expectations of beauty. As a white woman, I can recognize the whitewashing of the beauty industry and lack of diversity within it. With all of that said, most of the filters Snapchat design tend to lighten your skin, slim down your face, make your eyes bigger and nose smaller. We now have the ability to give ourselves a virtual plastic surgery makeover with no stitches or credit card transactions.

Do I prefer my face when it’s slimmed down? Yes, of course. Is it healthy to take photos of myself with a filter that adjusts my individual features to fit the designer’s idea of beauty? No, it’s not. These filters seem like an innocent and silly pleasure on the surface but when you pick them apart, there’s nothing innocent about promoting an altered and skewed self-image. There are enough pressures today without Snapchat’s seemingly friendly reminder that our faces aren’t perfectly proportional. Photoshop and manipulating images have long been a controversial topic between the public and the media. Although companies like Aerie have developed campaigns that promote a healthy body image and REAL women, are things like Snapchat filters allowing the public to manipulate their own photos without even realizing the cognitive effects of doing so?

I won’t promote a boycott of Snapchat and the many filters that don’t do any of these things. Is there anything wrong with turning yourself into a full-faced tiger or creepy creature from whatever new scary movie is coming out next? I doubt it.

BUT, we do need to remember that beauty is created with diversity, not masks of similarity or a crown of flowers.

*Disclaimer: I had to search my boyfriend’s phone long and hard to find these photos. I didn’t save each Snapchat of myself I’ve ever taken LOL. DiSave

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7 Comment

  1. Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far.
    However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain in regards to the source?

    1. Alyx says: Reply

      Thank you for your comment! So, I would say the bottom line is self-image perception and how platforms like Snapchat alter them without its audience even realizing the mental effects. There is no certainty in regards to the source of self-image or lack of self-confidence. It’s easy, in my opinion, to find the correlation between the filters Snapchat designs and the immediate effect it has on our faces. In one of the photos I had taken a year ago (see above), I wrote a caption saying, “Can this be my permanent face plz”. Back then I was recognizing the fact that the features this filter gave me were more appealing than my actual ones, but I simply moved on from the matter once the snap was sent. The comparisons we make mentally can subconsciously create an inner issue of self-image, even if it’s not recognized immediately. I would love to find some statistics on the matter and if I come across any I will happily insert them into the article! Hope that helps answer your questions 🙂

  2. You are the self-image of an instinctive, courageous, and resourceful woman. Snapchat can’t handle all that.

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