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NextGen/Her Campus

Filters are Making You Insecure

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

I remember my first time using a photo filter vividly: it was the once-loved dog filter they published on Snapchat. When I saw how the filter cleared my skin, added a rosy tint to my cheeks, and slimmed down my nose I was so impressed. I thought to myself, “Damn, why can’t I always look like this?” This was in 6th grade, and I’ve yet to completely abandon the use of filtering my selfies/images. 

Ivan Samkov via Pexels

I’ve realized how invested Gen Z/Millennials are in posting the most *aesthetic* selfies/photos possible. It’s a competition: Who has the best VSCO feed? Is her Insta feed acceptable? Is my Twitter handle quirky enough? We are mentally comparing our social media presence to every other person we interact with, consciously or subconsciously. Filters are exacerbating this competitive internet culture, especially for women. Swiping through Instagram stories and seeing beautiful women using filters like “cute baby face” or “faux foundation” or “nothing extra” is so misleading. The names of the filters make them sound natural which is a big problem. Filters like “nothing extra” actually distort your face. These filters slim down your nose, brighten your cheeks, smooth your skin (not even leaving a single pore behind), and plump your lips. Some filters even change your eye color! We’ve allowed the use of filters to consume our social media presences and trick others into believing we really look like that. Yet, in reality we all have zits, pores, and imperfect noses. 

Try to challenge yourself, can you post a selfie or story without filtering it? 

UVA Contributer Account
Nikki is a fourth year and a Biology major at the University of Virginia. Her loves in life include reading, animals, and cookies! Writing is one of her creative outlets and she hopes you enjoy her articles as much as she enjoys writing them!