Beauty standards have changed significantly over the past couple of decades. For instance, in the past, when photo editing was not as readily available, people refer to celebrities and models for beauty inspiration, but now that even coworkers, classmates, and relatives get to alter their appearance at the click of a button, it brings about feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem in some and may trigger body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
For more, read the full story on the Journal of the American Medical Association.
At present, Snapchat dysmorphia is not classed as a mental health disorder and there is no data to show a rise in the number of surgeries related to these types of filters. It is based on BDD, which is marked by an excessive preoccupation with a perceived "flaw" in physical appearance and the persistent need to change the said flaw.More news: Peerless Crusaders claim ninth Super Rugby title
People with BDD may spend a lot of time comparing their looks with others', looking in or avoiding mirrors and going to great lengths to hide perceived flaws.
Behaviours can include engaging in repetitive actions like skin picking, worrying a lot about a specific area of the body (particularly the face) and spending a lot of time comparing looks with other people's. They also worry too much about how they look.
Additional research has shown 55 per cent of plastic surgeons report seeing patients who want to improve their appearance in selfies.More news: Large Hail Kills 2 Animals at Colorado Zoo; 14 People Injured
Approximately two percent of the general population have BDD, which psychologists say is on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum. In a recent study, it was found that the adolescent girls who manipulated their photographs had higher levels of concern with their bodies and tend to overestimate their body weight and shape. The study also explains "that those with a dysmorphic body image may seek out social media as a means of validating their attractiveness".
While most people can go about taking selfies without facing such problems, Vashi noted people who have symptoms of body dysmorphia may find their obsession starts to worsen.
Thanks to apps like Snapchat and Instagram introducing various filters that we can apply during our selfies to make ourselves look silly, look attractive, and so on, it seems to have created a side-effect which is that it is apparently driving requests from teens for cosmetic surgery that will make them look as good as their selfies. Psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy and management of the disorder in an empathetic and non-judgmental way may help, the researchers recommended.More news: Journalist: FC Barcelona ‘serious’ about signing Man United’s Paul Pogba
"This can be especially harmful for teens and those with BDD, and it is important for providers to understand the implications of social media on body image to better treat and counsel our patients", she said.