There’s a new wave of plastic surgery in which people alter their faces to look like touched up or filtered photos — an alarming psychological phenomenon otherwise known as “Snapchat dysmorphia.”
Digitally manipulated apps including Snapchat often times blur imperfections, plump lips, add thickened eyelashes, and even change proportions and face structures. It’s really no wonder there’s a craze to achieve “perfection” with technology like this.
Going a step further, the Facetune photo app allows users to smooth wrinkles, completely reshape their bodies, add custom makeup and so much more. Touched up images are more common than you’d think and it can all be done through an app — but some are now leaning toward real-life fixes like Botox injections to mimic these filters.
Dermatologist Noëlle Sherber has dealt with very real cases like this. “I have a lot of millennials as part of my practice,” she says. “Most of the time, they want to talk about how they appear in their edited photos. And they are looking to explore options of how to translate that into reality.”
According to Vox, this “Snapchat dysmorphia” isn’t just a beauty trend, it’s much more serious. A startling 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported seeing patients who desired procedures to help them “look better” in selfies, a stat up from 13 percent in 2016 as recorded by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons 2017 poll. The problem is, from the perspective of a common selfie, faces can appear distorted to begin with depending on proximity to the lens.
When it comes to plastic surgery, the results may look good, but the repercussions could be self-destructive. “The pervasiveness of these filtered images can take a toll on one’s self-esteem, make one feel inadequate for not looking a certain way in the real world, and may even act as a trigger and lead to body dysmorphic disorder,” according to JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
Just know, filter or not, you look perfect.