Women who watch their mates “reinforced” through plastic surgery are more likely to undergo plastic surgery themselves. This is according to a study from 2019. The authors wanted to learn more about the effects of social networks on one’s perception of one’s appearance and conducted an experiment on volunteers who observed other women’s faces after a common procedure of plastic surgery. , such as rhinoplasty or lip augmentation.
At the same time, the analysis showed that if the participant often used social networks, and was also unhappy with her appearance, then the probability of entrusting herself to a plastic surgeon increases even more. The researchers highlighted that frequent use of social networks is a much stronger factor than dissatisfaction with the face and body.
This trend was noted by British plastic surgeon Tejun Eshu, who in 2018 coined the term “Snapchat dysphonia”. He was referring to a disease called body malformation, in which a person deals painfully with his supposedly imperfect appearance. Snapchat was one of the first social networks to introduce a beauty filter feature, and the practice of Esh began to see more and more customers (especially female customers) wanting to appear as if they were augmented by artificial intelligence.
Do influencers have responsibilities?
Lifestyle influencer Dominika Lukasova, who has over 26,000 followers on Instagram, describes a similar experience. “Of course the age of face filters didn’t escape me and I used them at some point in every post. I got nervous when someone photographed me without them. There were times when my friends and I decided it was thanks to the filters. We knew what we would look like with a smaller nose or bigger lips, and we started thinking about plastic surgery” , as you admit.
Fortunately, she quickly realized the harm of filters and stopped using them on her profile. “I think it has a very negative impact on the self-concept of everyone who uses it and everyone who consumes this content. We spend a lot of time on Instagram and it’s hard not to get carried away by what we see there and compare ourselves. Filters often project an unrealistic model of beauty and distort the concept of true beauty, especially natural beauty. , which is becoming increasingly rare,” Lukasova describes how her attitude has changed. “Smaller nose, bigger lips, clearer lines and smooth, radiant skin. But that’s not how people look in real life. I also like myself with some filter, but I realize it’s not me, and there’s no reason to pretend it’s me,” Supplies.
You don’t want to like
In contrast, influential writers Lucie Zelinková is less critical of the use of filters. For some social media posts, it uses posts that set the color of the entire screen. “The reason is a more aesthetic result, the video has a visually nicer tone. It’s not about my feelings, I try to get authentic content. I don’t use filters that modify facial features like lips or nose,” he says.
She is convinced that the use of filters does not negatively affect her self-concept. “I’m an adult, and a new mom, I get my self-esteem from not the Instagram posts I post. My social media content is books, my account isn’t about my looks. I don’t crave my followers to like and I don’t need them to associate my looks,” she says, adding that Many other influencers use beauty filters. “But I will not blame them for the fact that it can have a negative effect on their followers. If a person does not do something borderline, he can freely create any content he wants,” Zelenkova said.
The brain is being tricked
Psychologist Katerina Dorkashova, who focuses mainly on young clients, explains that the comparison with an unattainable ideal occurs on a subconscious level. “Every one of us has an idea of what is called the body schema. Hence also the perfect body schema, which is greatly influenced by what comes to us from the outside. Today we already know that our brain cannot distinguish a face that has been modified or filtered, shown to us as an ideal image, whether we see it On ourselves or on someone else,” it shows the discrepancy between how we look and how we think we ought to look. The more that discrepancy increases, the worse we feel.
In 2019, Instagram banned cosmetic filters that clearly show how a user would care for a particular cosmetic procedure. The social network also took measures, thanks to which it became visible in the so-called stories in the upper left that the user used a filter and what exactly. But according to Dorkashova, such interventions have no effect. Although we logically know that the image in front of us has been edited, our brain is still fooled.
The unreality of the filters is reinforced by the fact that they borrow the distinctive features of different races, but apply them to a unified Caucasian face, as noted by the American magazine The New Yorker. A smaller and narrow nose is typical of whites, plump lips are black, cat-shaped eyes are more common in Asians and Asian women, and high cheekbones in Middle Eastern or Native Americans. Some filters automatically whiten the faces of people with darker skin.
When AI filters were in their early days, they mainly served to entertain users. For example, they managed to turn a human head into an animal head. However, the MIT Technology Review writes that they are used mostly by young women, almost exclusively to improve their appearance. At the same time, this is the most common way to use the so-called augmented reality.
According to Dorkashova, female gender is one of the risk factors when using filters. “We have very different expectations from women than men. Someone constantly comments on their appearance, either positively or negatively. Then we feel ourselves that it is something important. For example, women are told that if they are not beautiful, no one will, and that Complete nonsense because we don’t build relationships based on people’s appearance. Sometimes people think so and then they are unhappy because you don’t build a close relationship on appearance,” he warns.
Social networking can also contribute to the development of body dysmorphic disorder or the eating disorders mentioned above. However, Dorkashova points out that a person does not need a psychological diagnosis to beautify the filters in order for it to have a negative effect on him. People who tend to be perfectionists, especially with regard to body and appearance, or a tendency to dramatize and light up, which means they keep thinking about one thing without it leading them anywhere, are also at risk,” he explains. Low self-worth.
Watching profiles depicting unrealistic ideals of beauty, using filters and taking selfies is, in a way, an unfavorable act from a psychologist’s point of view. You will please the person in the short term, but in the long run you will make them feel worse. “Someone evaluates us, tells us we look good, which is so much fun and creates social connection. But the negative consequences last a long time, and the perfect image of ourselves is stored in our subconscious,” he says.
Meanwhile, Durkáčová herself has an Instagram profile that doesn’t hold your head as you focus on mental health, which has nearly 18k followers. You try to work with him so as not to hurt anyone. “I often log posts as I am, not editing myself, and trying not to watch how I look. Sometimes I also post about a positive attitude towards my body and encourage people to follow accounts where they feel good. I don’t take any selfies and don’t use filters.”
For people who do not want to leave social networks, but want to get rid of their negative influence on their self-concept, he recommends not taking selfies. “Research shows that it hurts us. At some point, you are satisfied with it, but then you start looking for flaws. So it is good not to do it, not analyze it, not use filters, but post pictures from your life.”
It’s also a good idea to organize the accounts you follow. “Avoid people who have human faces and bodies in their content. I can only follow people who feel good after watching a post, like educational content or pictures of nature. When I follow someone who presents a perfect body or face, I always feel it’s going to hurt me even though I realize it’s not realistic.” “Women in particular should learn to respect their bodies as they look. We don’t have to love everything about our bodies, but at the same time we don’t have to be perfectionism. No matter how I look, I am worthy of love and respect.”
You may be interested: Ahmed says that women are intimidated by their appearance, but it is not our duty to please others.
Accepting your body is a lifelong process, and it is not my duty to look like the ideal of beauty, I take responsibility for my body to be healthy. | Video: Daniela Drtenova
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