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.
It's being called "Snapchat Dysmorphia," and it was coined by a NY board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schulman. Dr. Schulman says patients are coming into the office and bringing photos of themselves with filters on them, asking to look like the version of themselves in the photo.
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.
Renee Engeln, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, tells the Huffington Post, “It’s not enough [to] have to compare yourself to these perfected images of models, but now you’ve got this daily comparison of your real self to this intentional or unintentional fake self that you present on social media. It’s just one more way to feel like your falling short every day."
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.
“I turn down about 25 percent of people who come to see me for plastic surgery, and it’s for a variety of reasons,” Schulman said. “Part of what I have to do is figure out if what they’re requesting is doable and is it safe? Then, I also have to figure out, which is always harder, if they’re doing it for the right reasons.”
Engeln says looking a certain way can give you power, but there's a price to ones self-esteem.
“There is a real sense in which looking a certain way in this world gives you power and everybody knows that. Anyone who denies it is either lying or willfully blind to it,” Engeln said. “But what I worry about, especially as women age, is if they are putting all of their emotional stock in maintaining a certain type of appearance, that’s a really weak foundation to stand on as you age.”
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.”
Do you think our society puts too much pressure on us to look a certain way?