I’ll admit. I love a good, goofy Snapchat filter like everyone else. But I don’t love it so much that I would take it to a plastic surgeon and tell them to make me look like the filter.
Apparently, that’s just what’s happening.
Forget those days when a teenager might have come into a plastic surgery clinic clutching a photo of their favorite celebrity, professionally Photoshopped to centerfold-level perfection. These days, teens don’t want to look like celebrities anymore. They want to look the way they look with a Snapchat filter, and they’re willing to undergo plastic surgery to make it happen. That’s completely insane guys!!
It's being called "Snapchat Dysmorphia," and it was coined by an NY board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schulman.
Typically, they're looking for the smoother skin, bigger eyes, and fuller lips that a lot of filters bring to our selfies. It's becoming such a phenomenon that some say people are forgetting what they actually look like.
The perfection app
But suddenly—I don't remember when exactly—I was into it, Bitmoji and all. Next thing I knew, I was only taking selfies using the Snapchat camera. When I’d use the iPhone camera, with no flowers or goggly eyes obscuring my actual face, I’d think to myself, you look hideous. So, I just stopped using it altogether.
Renee Engeln, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, tells the Huffington Post,
The surgeries to get us to look like our filtered selves can come at a hefty price tag, too. The average cost of an eyelid surgery, a common surgery to make your eyes appear bigger, is just over $3,000 according to a 2016 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Engeln says looking a certain way can give you power, but there's a price to one's self-esteem.
She added,“You are never going to meet this culture’s beauty standard. If we all started meeting the standard, the standard would just be changed.”
So, who’s to blame? Is it the celebrities who undergo surgery or extreme editing and then deny it? Is it the apps for making these tools accessible and easy to use for all? Or is it us, who actively seek out these instruments to make ourselves seem more attractive, and – in social-media terms – likable. Likely, it’s a combination of all three.
Do you think our society puts too much pressure on us to look a certain way?
Think about it!!
I am pretty sure these poor Plastic surgeons will be dealing with this for years to come. Because it doesn’t seem like at least to me that this Snapchat Dysmorphia is going away anytime soon.