Snapchat Dysmorphia: The Unrealistic Beauty Standard
Updated: Jun 27
It’s surprisingly common for or patients to come into the clinic with an image that depicts their beauty goals, sometimes its Angelina Jolie’s sharp jawline or those infamous Kylie Jenner lips. People like to show photos of aspirational images that they desire to achieve, but interestingly those photos are starting to be more often of the patient themselves. Not their current everyday appearance—the person we see walking into the office, but instead the face-tuned or snapchat or instagram filtered image of themselves that they are so frequently posing on their social media accounts.
Previously, we saw unrealistic images of women in fashion magazines that had been airbrushed or photoshopped to visually enhance the her body, erasing cellulite, perfecting skin, nipping and tucking excess skin or fat with little edits to hide perceived flaws. Over the years these types of activities have been called out by media or body positive advocates as unrealistic or deceiving practices, creating deceitful beauty standards.
Now, in the age if artificial intelligence and social media we are seeing the emergence of a new image altering beast and its having negative effects on the way people perceive themselves and their appearance. Applications such as face-tune allow anyone to quickly and easily edit their own photos to make their faces appear thinner, eyes larger, correct blemishes or create symmetry prior to sharing their images to social media accounts. Other applications such as snapchat or Instagram come with appearance altering filters build right into the application allowing users to take the perfect selfie without making any adjustments and post directly to their social account. See my makeup free selfie change dramatically in under 2 seconds with a snapchat filter….
The problem with these applications is that not only are they creating unrealistic beauty standards they are creating unhuman standards, generating an impossible beauty goal that many people are now trying to achieve through surgical and nonsurgical cosmetics.
The photo below is an intentionally/openly altered image of the body positive social media star @karinairby, showing just how easy it is to make realistic looking edits.
Working in a medical aesthetic clinic and having had imaging enhancing procedures myself I think it's important to point out that I don’t think making enhancements to ones image is a negative thing. We all have little things about our appearances that may bother us and want to change, like adding fullness to thinning lips or lifting cheekbones that are starting to fall as a result of aging but, the important thing to note is where to draw the line for a realistic goal. We all have limitations to what we can achieve given our natural structures and its important to pay attention to this while looking to enhance your features. Pushing to pursue unrealistic goals can unfortunately do more harm and possibly end in overly enhanced features giving a cartoonish appearance or leave some people forever seeking that that unattainable goal.
When looking to have imaging enhancing procedure its important to find a trusted practitioner who will be honest about setting goals and describing limitations. Unfortunately some clinics and injectors will more interested in taking your money than looking out for your best interests, so its important to find a clinic that will spend time on education and discussing a treatment plan prior to any treatments. Once you have found someone you feel comfortable with its best to stay with that provider, as they get you know you, your anatomy and goals and will keep you on track and in line with achieving them. Another good rule of thumb when initially looking for a good clinic is assessing what the people and practitioners look like…have they themselves gone overboard? If so, do you trust them to objectively assess your face?
We at Skin Worthy value our patients and their beauty goals and strive to create an achievable plan with our patients. We also value your natural beauty and think it’s important to take a balanced approach to Medical Aesthetics.
Please call us at (647)350-7546 or visit us online at skinworthy.ca to set up your complimentary consultation.
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