It’s no doubt how fun Instagram Story filters can be. The idea of applying a filter to transform you into different fun characters like a fairy or cute bunny sounds which are rather amusing. However, what’s not amusing are the mental issues that some of these filters can cause.
Therefore, it is exactly because of this reason that the social media platform giant, Instagram has announced that it will soon be banning any filters that portray or represent cosmetic surgery. The very idea of simply being able to remove imperfections and alter one’s appearance through the application of airbrushing filters can cause Snapchat dysmorphia. This term was created by psychologists and sociologists to describe the mental health issue associated with people who seek out cosmetic surgery to look like they do with social media app filters applied. According to Medical News Today, the consistent engagement with such unrealistic app filters can have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem and overall confidence and can, therefore, result in or lead to Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD).
“While we’re re-evaluating our policies, we will remove all effects from the [effects ] gallery associated with plastic surgery, stop further approval of new effects like this and remove current effects if they’re reported to us. ”
With shocking statistics revealing that one in six South Africans suffers from mental health issues like anxiety and depression, it is vital that more is done to bring greater awareness to the issue of mental health. So although social media app filters may seem harmless and fun in the moment and on the surface, it is always a good idea to stop and pause to think about the negative mental health effects that engaging in such activities can have. However, it’s great to know that there are companies out there like Instagram looking out for our mental health.