Snapchat Dysmorphia: A burgeoning body dysmorphia problem that has left surgeons in dilemma!
Snapping pictures on snapchat; something we all love doing, whether alone or with our friends. Why? Because of the flawless filters that just make us look perfect! This outstanding mobile multimedia app which was released in September 2011 reportedly has 166 million daily active users worldwide as of 2017. Well, that’s a great number of users among which maximum proportion are the teenagers who’re going crazy over this techno-friendly app.
But as I started using this app, I faced a major downfall, downfall on my self-esteem and confidence. You might be thinking it was supposed to be other way round as the filters makes you look perfect and sexy but that was not the case. I couldn’t take photos through normal camera phone because I felt ugly without filters. Every social media app now have such filters that will make you obsess about your appearance. You want to look more like those filtered faces and this has risen to a serious disorder “Snapchat Dysmorphia.”
SnapChat Dysmorphia and Its Effect On Teenagers
We have heard about body dysmorphic disorder where people feel obsessed about their looks and undergo repeated cosmetic surgeries, well this is exactly same with snapchat dysmorphia. Doctors and plastic surgeons are now more concerned that the these photo-editing technologies are pushing the younger generation to suffer from snapchat dysmorphia which ultimately leads to depression, stress and even suicidal tendencies. They are claiming that most of their patients are coming to them, desperately to resemble like those selfies. They are spotting a trend of people bringing their own selfies, edited with smart phone application and making requests to look more like that.
An article recently published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery published on August 2, 2018 stated,
“Previously, patients would bring images of celebrities to their consultations to emulate their attractive features. A new phenomenon, dubbed “Snapchat dysmorphia,” has patients seeking out cosmetic surgery to look like filtered versions of themselves instead, with fuller lips, bigger eyes, or a thinner nose. This is an alarming trend because those filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients.”
Another doctor, Dr. Neelam Vashi who is the director of the Ethnic Skin Center at BMC has expressed concerns regarding the snapchat dysmorphia. She stated,
“Filtered selfies can make people lose touch with reality, creating the expectation that we are supposed to look perfectly primped all the time.”
She further added,
“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.”
Hence, snapchat dysmporphia is one of the form of BDD triggered by seeing to many unrealistic pictures on social media. This disorder can lead to serious problems in the long run, leading to excessive cosmetic surgeries on one hand and other emotional problems like eating disorders, mood swings, insomnia, low self esteem and suicidal tendencies.
All in all, it can be argued that these apps are truly making us lose touch from the reality but it’s time that we realise that there’s a whopping difference between editing your face with an app and editing your face under the knife!