Here at Select All we have been longtime evangelists of the puppy filter as the Snapchat filter that makes you look hottest and is the best option for thirst trapping. We’d also like to go on record saying that while the puppy filter makes everyone look good — I’ll die on this hill — it is also not a realistic representation of a human face. The obvious differences aside — like that humans do not, typically, have the floppy ears and wet nose of a dog — Snapchat filters are also known to remove blemishes, slim the face and create symmetry, and generally make your face look, well, less like your actual face. (More problematically, some filters also appear to whiten the skin. We’ll punt on that particular issue today.) These are changes which doctors say are impacting the plastic surgery business.
A new article from the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Selfies — Living in the era of filtered photographs,” describes on “Snapchat dysmorphia,” a type of body dysmorphia — a condition in which a person ruminates on perceived flaws — triggered by people wanting to look the way they do altered by a Snap filter. (Note: This is not a formal, data-driven study, so apply the necessary grains of salt.) “People bring in photos of themselves at certain angles or with certain kinds of lighting,” Dr. Neelam Vashi, director of the Boston University Center for Ethnic Skin and one of the authors of the JAMA piece, told Inverse. “I just see a lot of images that are just really unrealistic, and it sets up unrealistic expectations for patients because they’re trying to look like a fantasized version of themselves.” Vashi also said she believes plastic surgeons will be dealing with this for “years to come.”
Despite wariness on the part of the surgeons, the patient demand for such procedures is increasing. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 55 percent of clinicians saw patients who “wanted to look better in their selfies” in 2017 — an uptick of 13 percent from the previous year. This same report called social media “a cultural force” with the power to change the plastic surgery industry.
Folks, please. Your selfies are fine. We promise.