What does Dysmorphia mean? The word dysmorphia indicates the concern related to the perception of one or more non-existent or slight physical defects. These can cause a person to feel uncomfortable and unable to carry out daily activities. We are not talking about a “simple” lack of self-esteem. People with dysmorphia can go so far as to make extreme decisions to eliminate what they consider a defect. But what does Snapchat have to do with it? Snapchat Dysmorphia is a digital dysmorphia, caused precisely by the filters offered by this social platform (and many others).
Can an abuse of filters and photo editing lead to Snapchat Dysmorphia?
Certainly there are persons who are more inclined towards this type of wrong body perception, however we must admit that, once we have seen our ‘improved’ face, our self-esteem starts to fade away. In 2018, British cosmetic doctor Tijion Esho coined the term “Snapchat dysmorphia“. But it’s not just about Snapchat, the applications that allow us to become Kendall Jenner are endless: FaceTune, Perfect Me, Flaw Removal, Makeup Photo Editor, Fotogenic, Body editor… The more the demand goes up, the more the offer increases, it works this way.
The smartphone turns into a distorted mirror where we can have an breathtaking body with a simple touch and without sweating our soul in the gym, that’s cool… But the reality is different and, even if we end up going to the gym, we are not satisfied anyway. We saw the ultra-enhanced version of ourselves and we fell in love with it. We want to be like that at all costs and we even undergo plastic surgery to reach our goals. All of this underestimating the risks and dangers that may follow.
That year the surgeon noticed that patients no longer carried with them photographs of their favorite stars and actors, they started showing him filtered photos of themselves. In his opinion, the pervasiveness of social photo editing can create unrealistic expectations and lower the self-esteem of those who use them. Patients with ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ usually ask for plumper lips, larger eyes and thinner noses, but often that result is not achievable.
A beauty standard that is often unattainable
While many national and international stars, such as Kim Kardashian and Laura Chiatti, have fallen into the Snapchat Dysmorphia network, there are many others who are dedicating themselves to leaving a profound bodypositive message.
This is not about exalting a defect, but making it clear that there are many aspects common to all human beings. A pimple, cellulite, dull skin… it all depends on the light and the pose, you can’t fight being human.
Standard beauty has never existed, there is only what we decide to show on our social media. We cannot compare our worst side with the best and improved photos we see through our smartphone. We have to re-educate our perception of reality.