Snapchat dysmorphia driving patients to filter-inspired plastic surgery
It turns out that using filters on Snapchat might not be so harmless after all.
Recent studies have found that the app is causing an increase in plastic surgery worldwide. People are bringing in photos of themselves that are heavily filtered and asking to look like that version of themselves.
The phenomenon is known as “Snapchat Dysmorphia” according to an article in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology.
It is a form of body dysmorphia. That is a mental disorder where people are “extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or appears minor."
The cause of Snapchat dysmorphia is the overall accessibility a user has to alter their look instantly, one of the article’s authors Neelam Vashi told The Washington Post.
“What used to lie in the hands of . . . celebrities and beautiful people who were innately beautiful made to look more beautiful, now it’s in the hands of anyone,” Vashi said.
“Sometimes I have patients who say, ‘I want every single spot gone, and I want it gone by this week or I want it gone tomorrow,’ because that’s what this filtered photograph gave them,” she said. “They check off one thing, and it’s gone. That’s not realistic. I can’t do that. I can make people a lot better, but it will take me a lot more time than a week, and it won’t be 100 percent.”
The phenomenon is not solely Snapchat’s fault. Other apps such as FaceTune and even Instagram editing features allow people to completely change the way they look online.
According to the South China Morning Post, plastic surgery is becoming more popular globally, especially among young people. For example, in Western Europe, the average patient age is now 37 instead of 42.
The phenomenon is particularly prevalent in China. The report states that the cosmetic surgery industry is worth $71.8 billion in China. Also, the number of new clinics opening increased by 10 percent last year from 2017.
Other Snapchat news
Snapchat might be getting way louder with a possible new music-centered upgrade in the works.
The company, owned by Snap, has been in negotiations with music companies. Those include Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. They've been trying to work out licensing agreements to add songs to Snapchat.
The news comes from a report by the Wall Street Journal. This would allow users to add music to their posts without the company becoming an actual streaming service. The company would limit music to within the app only.
This new update would mean users could share their favorite tunes on their Stories. Or, in individual messages to really make your Snapchat more on-brand.
What do you think about the concern regarding Snapchat Dysmorphia? Sound off in the comments down below!