In today’s world, social media validation has become the necessity of life. Face filters, Photoshop and various other photo editing apps have become everyone’s instant go-to for tweaking their photos before uploading them on Instagram. A few swipes and alterations can give you clearer skin, a sharper nose, bigger eyes and fuller lips.
People are just following trends to be a part of the latest ongoing craze without considering the pros or the cons. The Kiki Challenge that took the world by storm saw a lot of celebrities such as Will Smith and Shay Mitchell take part in it. Their fans just followed them blindly resulting in so many people getting hurt (and even dying) while dancing on the road.
In simpler times, fans used to go lengths to look like a version of their favourite celebrity with makeup. But in this era of Snapchat selfies, people have been struck by the need to look like their photoshopped selves in real life and are even getting cosmetically altered for the same.
Ironically, celebrities have now started objecting to photoshopped images of themselves in magazines and at other places. Celebs such as like Priyanka Chopra, Brad Pitt and Zendaya have spoken up against their retouched photographs.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
These heavily edited images can take a toll on one’s self-esteem making people concentrate more on how they want to look than how they actually look in real life. This results in them feeling bad for not looking a certain way. This type of complex has been termed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
A 2016 study done by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine, Boston suggested that Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) wherein people are highly concerned about their looks. People suffering from BDD can go to great distances to hide even the tiniest of imperfections, the study suggested.
A study done by scientists at the Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, in 2018 coined a new term ‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’. The paper talks about the new phenomenon where people are going to cosmetic surgeons in order to look more like the filtered versions of themselves. Lead researcher, Dr Susruthi Rajanala, in the paper mentioned, “This is an alarming trend because those filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients.”
She added, ”In such cases the choice of action is not surgery. The typical treatment consists of psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as medicine”.
The study also says that all photo sharing or editing platforms are at fault collectively, not just Snapchat. Be it Instagram or Photoshop, these apps are creating unachievable standards of beauty. Men are asking for a chiseled jawline and women want a sharper nose. After one point, it will become hard to distinguish what is real and what is not!