On Halloween weekend the scariest masks we wear (besides the ones related to Covid) are the ones we wear online. AKA the dog filter, flower crown filter, and the Naomi.
From glow hour to the Naomi, and the famous 90’s retro filters, the catfish filter pandemic has long been a problem in the social media game. Since it’s launch in 2010, Instagram has introduced thousands of filters that often alter the way the subjects look entirely. Soon many apps followed giving direct access to photo editing and filters for the perfect selfie. Apps like Snapchat released in 2011, provided not just a space to show memories to friends and foe but also curated their entire business model around our very own obsession with looking seemingly baby smooth with lots of filters. I KNOW I’m not the only one who spent half of their junior year being part human and part dog.
On a journey to self-love, It’s crucial for us to speak on how overusing these filters can have an effect on our self-esteem. If you’ve ever uttered the words “ put on a filter, I’m ugly,” first of all, virtual hug!
And second, let’s talk about self-love and the spooky ways Instagram and Snapchat make you out to feel ugly. And trust me, babes, you are not alone.
According to a survey by Luster Premium White, millennials (18-34) spend an average of 38 hours a year taking selfies, adding up to 25,000 selfies in their lifetime. Another study discovered that glancing at your selfies routinely can have a major impact on your self-esteem and even lowers just how satisfied you feel with your life. Needless to say that investing so much time in a counterproductive self-care activity can lead to depression and in some cases suicide.
To continue my research on just how young adults like me felt about this matter, I took my question to the one source I know will always keep it real with me...TWITTER DUH! Believe it or not people tweet just about everything they feel, which makes it the perfect place to get the scoop on just how they felt about the effects of social media filters.
After the occasional Kpop mob spams, what I read was quite concerning. While few acknowledge how detrimental the filters they used were, many more in fact thanked those apps for making them “look better” than they do IRL. Some even revealed that using Instagram filters particularly brought up insecurities they did not even know they have. I mean who else can relate?!
Surgeons nationwide have received an influx of, women in a particular, coming in with requests not to look like celebrities like they use to but to look like filtered and edited versions of themselves. Snapchat dysmorphia as they call it mainly affects teenagers and young adults who may have already been experiencing a lack of self-love and low self-esteem.
Here come the pep talk ladies and ‘gents!
“ You are beautiful. You are amazing. You are invincible. You are unique. You are powerful. You ARE YOU!
And no one else could ever be you! (PERIOD)” @donavstyles
Lastly, filters don’t make you any more or less perfect IRL, the most beautiful part of all of your post is the subject, AKA...YOU!
The solutions I’m proposing:
Spend time practicing self-love
Don’t forget to spend some uncomfortable amount of hours with yourself until you can fall in love with you again. Unfiltered, raw admiration of yourself, your flaws, and embracing your humanity.
Take less filtered posts
Rather than taking hundreds of posts with filters, try playing around with natural lighting and perfecting your best angles.
Use fashion to your advantage
Have your unique sense of style be the staple piece of your photos. You are unique and stylish, whether it’s freckles or pimples, show off your great fit that defines everything you love about yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to others
It’s easy to fall for that trap but you are so much stronger than that. You are an absolute baddie, and no one could look like you even if they tried. So why try to look like anyone or anything but yourself?
A beautiful post is 20 percent the fit, background, caption Etc… and 150% about confidence. (Yes, the math is right!) Actively work on positive self-talk rather than negative ones. A confident woman or man is a lowkey scary one but also a highkey sexy one. Don’t be scared to love yourself, to be confident, and always be about your $hit, cause THAT’s on POWER MOVES!
Much to my surprise when I asked those who follow me on my personal account whether they could go a day or weeks without using filters on their pictures or videos, 68% of the polls said that they could definitely not use them for weeks, whereas 38% said they could only last a day. I also observed that those who said they could go weeks typically post less than those who do. What do you think? And how long will you challenge yourself to fewer filters on your next Instagram and Snapchat stories? Let us know @powerroommag on Instagram!