Beauty filters after Beauty Creams, the Evolving Facial Dysmorphia and illusion on social media

Finding the right filter to give an illusion of a beautiful face in pictures is setting modern beauty standards

For ages, we have lived in the false consciousness that a fairness cream can make our face look flawless and absolutely ‘white’. Hundreds of beauty brands have hit the markets because obviously, they claim “Spotless fairness and glow”. Where fairness is misperceived as something that sets the absolute standards for a pretty human being, there is a long history of people craving to look fair to look beautiful. Now, with the changing times, the one thing that is changing is the standards set for defining beauty and less do we know, they are not changing for any good. Now, the standards even look towards the colour of the eye, the colour of hair, the tone of the skin, shape of the face, the cheekbones, the collar bones and eyebrows and whatnot. And if we take it further, the body size and shape, the hair on the hands and the size of the nails become another area of defining beauty.

Gone are the days where people used to flaunt their facial beauty in parties and public gatherings, now, it is an everyday thing. Why? Because it is 2020, the digital age where how you present yourself on digital platforms matter the most. Now, with every photograph and every video people choose to post, their ultimate idea is to look good. And, this definition of looking good is subjective of all the points discussed earlier including the facial colour, shape and eyelashes shape and size. And, to eradicate this beauty illusion, we have got the beauty enhancers, the Beauty Filters. Well, we don’t know how good this redefinition of beauty is, but we would definitely like to come to the facial dysmorphia it is leading to.

Well, a beauty filter is simply a digital layer that most of the people have started using while clicking their selfies. These filters range from enhancing the colour and tone of the picture, the features of the face like the colour of the eyeball, skin colour to evening the skin. But the question is certainly why do they do that?

We asked a few people about why do they use filters and here is what they told us –

Swati, a young woman when asked about why does she use filters said,” probably because they make us look good and are perhaps magical. Like it can change the mood of a picture in just a swipe like Woah!”. Well, we also thought that a filter can change the quality and the vibe of an image while just swiping from one slide to another, the story doesn’t end here.

Akshita, another young woman when asked about why does she use filters, said, “to explore new vibes, as different filters make you look really different. Yet another illusion to make myself feel good about me.” Adding to the argument, Parul Srivastava, said, “Using a filter is a personal choice. Well, I use filters on my pictures. As it gives me a feel-good factor. It enhances my overall look. It’s natural everyone likes to feel good and look good, especially in pictures, and the filter is just an ingredient to do that.” Basically, the idea is looking picture perfect.


Read more: An Unfiltered take on ‘Helicopter Parenting’ and how it is affecting Teachers?

While all of the three girls emphasised on how filter makes their pictures look good and feel good, Mrinal Mandal, said “I don’t have a  very pretty face and I don’t really think a lot about the beauty factor but others do. Like filter enhances the whole look, gives a more aesthetic look. And, it is certainly the social media, which wants to see us pretty. Everyone tries to show their best side and they certainly think the best side is physical appearance and beauty. It is the socializing and that is what only comes with beautiful pictures”

Well, where the whole idea of digital communities is grey and is definitely non-existential in real space, the same as with the case with the Instagram filters, they are not real. But the very idea of every day finding someone with in the photographs and taking an illusion of their beauty can be toxic and can lead to a facial dysmorphia. It may affect them in ways they don’t realize.

Facial dysmorphia may be affecting you and you may not even realise it. If you’re constantly filling up your feed with modified selfies using Instagram beauty filters and are extensively preoccupied with the way they make you appear, you might want to stop for a bit and introspect? You start seeing ‘faults’ when you look in the mirror because the real picture does not come with the convenient Instagram beauty filters. They are basically a step forward to adding to the illusions in which social media keeps us.

Have a news story, an interesting write-up or simply a suggestion? Write to us at info@oneworldnews.com

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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