Snapchat Filters: Fun or Harmful?

Confession: I am addicted to Snapchat filters.

The fire crown, the basic dog, to the newest seasonal MLK stars – I love them all.

(s/o to Summer for taking these filtered selfies)

I love them a little too much.

 

I do this thing where I put the filter on and stare at my face. I marvel at my fluttery long lashes, my cute pointed chin, my flawless skin and then I hit the “x” and the filter is gone. My face seems to grow two-fold, my lashes reduced to stubs and my blotches and pimples spring up, peppering my face.

 

I switch over between the two again and again – filter to my face to filter – until I decide on one of the two conclusions

  1. Yikes. You need a face-mask ASAP
  2.  Well…your face isn’t actually that far from our society’s beauty standards so you should be happy.

 

Society pushing unrealistic beauty standards for women is not a new concept. It’s just the patriarchy, doing its thang, making women evaluate themselves against social standards set by men. The patriarchy makes being beautiful a social obligation. If you find yourself not up to the standards then you’re inadequate as a woman. That’s why I feel like crap when I walk outside without makeup. It’s why I feel I’m on top of the world when my wings are fire.

 

I used to think that working on myself, making myself feel more beautiful was “self-love.” But what part of altering the way I look is an act of loving? How am I “feeling myself” when I’ve painted on a face?

I’m tired of Instagram pages conflating “self-love” with achieving beauty standards. I’m tired of them confusing being pretty with being healthy. I’m tired of the “like for clear skin!” posts, the “lip scrub” recipes, the overflowing capitalist extortion of my need to feel beautiful.

 

I’m tired of society telling me that I need to be pretty if I want to matter.

 

Maybe I should take a social media break. Maybe I should throw my phone out my window. But that’s ridiculous, I’d lose my streaks.

 

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