The puppy filter is the best filter on Snapchat. What about the “pretty” filter? you ask. (The one that people have argued is designed to make people look “whiter.”) What of the Coachella-goer filter of choice, which plops an animated flower crown onto your head and adds a little twinkle to your eyes? What about the rainbow-vomit filter?
No. I brook no argument. Each pales in comparison to the puppy, the reigning king of all filters.
Snapchat filters rotate, which means you never know what will be available when you open the app on any given day. Earlier in June, the puppy filter went on hiatus and people did not take it particularly well.
And they’re not the only ones weirdly obsessed with the filter. Ariana Grande is a fan.
As is Kim Kardashian, who may or may not be the reason Snapchat changed the puppy filter. Now, when you use the filter with someone else, a second dog face, a dalmatian, will appear over the second person’s face.
It even looks good on a tiny, grainy Barack Obama.
Why is the puppy filter the best filter? Because everyone looks good in the puppy filter. This is widely observed but little-understood. Why does everyone look good? For one thing, because it makes you look like a cute cartoon dog, and everyone loves cartoon dogs.
More importantly, though, the puppy filter does a few distinct things to your face beyond just slapping ears, nose, and a giant, just slightly erotic, animated tongue on it: It smooths your skin, widens your eyes, and visibly thins your face. In other words, it does some of the same things the “pretty” filter does, but in a less noticeable way, thanks to the, you know, dog features.
But the dog features aren’t just there to hide fashion-mag-style airbrush tweaks. My co-workers Brian Feldman and Leah Rodriguez have theorized that what makes the puppy filter so appealing is that it covers your nose — “the butthole of the face.” If you’ve ever been an insecure teen with access to a mirror, there is a good chance you’ve spent some years in your life hating your nose. My childhood orthodontist once said to me, “when your teeth are straight, your nose won’t look so big!” But who needs straight teeth when you have the puppy filter?
So, while using the puppy Snapchat filter certainly isn’t the same thing as getting your face surgically reconstructed, it works in a similar fashion. In addition to your smoothed and thinned face, your nose, which likely isn’t celebrity-level perfect, is obscured by the filter. And in its place, you get another, perfectly symmetrical, schnoz. Think of the puppy filter as the world’s cheapest (actually, the app is free), temporary nose job. One that just happens to also turn you into a puppy.
Snapchat declined to comment on this story.