Filters have become a popular way to enhance our appearance on social media, but they can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. Excessive use of filters can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction with our real face and body, and can even affect our sleep and overall well-being. Even those who don't spend much time on these applications can feel the ramifications of these filters because they have a way of affecting society as a whole. Research shows that young adults who frequently use filters on social media tend to have a greater sense of dissatisfaction with their real face and body.
Not only do they compare their appearance to “perfect images” of celebrities and colleagues, but they judge themselves by their own leaked selfies. This constant comparison can wreak havoc on body image and self-esteem. Fun filters, like flower crowns, are fine, but those with drastic changes, such as smooth skin, a fuller lip, and a pointed nose, are particularly damaging to our self-esteem and mental health. Beauty filters can do more harm than good, since they alter the image of ourselves and pressure young women to try to be the way filters make them look in applications.
However, research on filters and mental health reveals that filtering actually depletes self-esteem and distorts body image. The filter divides the image into two sections: one half shows a polished and filtered face and the other half shows your natural features (“flaws” and all that). This comparison can be damaging to our mental health as it reinforces the idea that we need to look perfect in order to be accepted by society. It's important to remember that no matter how perfect we may look in a filtered photo, it's not real life. We should strive for self-acceptance rather than trying to achieve an unrealistic standard of beauty.
We should also be mindful of how much time we spend looking at filtered versions of ourselves.