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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

It’s easier than ever to create a facade of perfection on Instagram with the recently added feature of beauty filters that can completely change your face. Beauty filters have been around for quite some time, but they have never changed your face as much as they do today. These filters are used to give the illusion of being tan or having porcelain skin. Now, they can change your eye shape, nose shape, the size of your lips, jaw definition and even your eye and hair color. This is extremely harmful to social media users’ mental health. Constantly seeing beauty filters can make people question if their looks are enough for today’s beauty standards, or wonder if they need to undergo cosmetic procedures to fit those standards.

Ivan Samkov via Pexels
Once users try out an Instagram beauty filter and notice how “perfect” they look, it’s extremely hard to go back to taking pictures without these filters. I have personally experienced this since the introduction of beauty filters. I’ve noticed that I prefer to take pictures now with a beauty filter that changes most of my features than the latter. It’s even harder when I see celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian using these filters because, in my mind, they were already beautiful to begin with. So it puts a thought in my head: if Kylie and Kim feel like they need to use filters, then obviously I should too. This is extremely harmful to users’ mental health and has become extremely common since introducing beauty filters on Instagram, which has heightened the feeling of needing to look perfect on social media.

Beauty filters supposedly make us look better but end up making us feel worse than ever before. Is that the price we need to pay to be active social media users? Since introducing beauty filters on social media platforms, the desire for plastic surgery and facial enhancement has drastically increased, especially amongst the youth. It’s very common to see young teenagers using these filters in their pictures, and even more common now to hear them dreaming about getting procedures once they are of age to do so. There is certainly nothing wrong with getting procedures done, but teenagers should not be planning out what they are going to get done once they’re 18 at such young ages. Instead, we should be encouraging the younger generation to love themselves as who they are and teach them that nothing on social media that looks perfect is actually perfect in real life. 

It’s really hard to remember that no one is as perfect as they display themselves to be on social media, not even Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian. But, we should definitely be focusing on teaching younger generations that social media is in fact a fake reality and not to get too caught up in it because it can be detrimental to one’s mental health. I’m sure as time goes on, there will be studies on how beauty filters have affected users’ mental health and influenced them to change their features. But, maybe we can halt this negative effect by having open and honest conversations, especially with young adults on social media, and remind them that what you see on social media is the perfect version, not the authentic version.

woman holding black framed mirror
Photo by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash

Hi! My name's Nata, yes it really is "just" Nata. I am a proud immigrant from the small country of the Republic of Georgia in Europe. I'm a PR student at Hofstra University graduating December 2021 and heading to law school to pursue my dream of being an attorney! Follow along for the ride.