SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Millennials will take an average of 25,000 selfies in their lifetime. And in the age of the selfie, social media outlets are taking the game one step further by adding filters. They can add anything from doggy ears to big eyes with just the swipe of your finger. But what may seem like harmless fun, experts say can be harmful to one’s self-esteem.
Beauty Expert, Giselle Steever says, “It’s pretty crazy when you listen to how hard people are on themselves. Whether it’s about how their face looks, the way that their body looks, the way that their hair looks. All of that.”
Some of those concerns being fueled by unrealistic beauty standards, easily accessed at the touch of a button.
Steever says, “Everything is filtered with smoke and mirrors. You know, this is the real me, when in reality those people don’t even look anything like themselves. That’s all fake.”
A little adjusting on Facetune can smoothen out skin, and make teeth look whiter and lips bigger. These filters and edits have become the norm, altering people’s perception of what they’re truly comparing themselves to.
Steever says, “It’s created a huge pressure to look a certain way.”
Plastic Surgeon, James Breit says, “We always have to worry about why is a person really doing it and are we going to be able to meet their expectations, so that’s where social media can be hurtful too. You have people posting things that aren’t maybe very accurate. That can be a trouble.”
After surveying hundreds of women, Researchers from Boston University found those who use social media and editing apps frequently are more likely to want to get plastic surgery.
Breit says, “From when I started to now, I’ve seen an increase in plastic surgery. Definitely social media plays a role in that.”
The increase in young people going under the knife wanting to look more like their filtered selves is often referred to as snap chat dysmorphia. Although almost all social media apps have a filter option.
“Looking at the filters and saying wow that’s how I could look I think starts them down the road like ok if I could tweak this or tweak that or may change this or change that,” says Breit.
Steever says, “Definitely a lot of body dysmorphia issues with social media. When you’re visually shown what you can look like and want to look like, but in reality that’s not what you look like, that can be really difficult for some people’s brains to conceive.”
Another influence of social media on personal image is the exposure of procedures like nips, tucks and plumps.
Breit says, “It’s more accepted because people get online or get on different media outlets and can see, ‘Well this person did it. Hey she had good results so why don’t I try the same thing?'”
Steever says, “It’s shared a lot more than it has ever before and so when it comes to plastic surgery and things like that used to be taboo, people see it a lot more.”
Hoping to taper the ever-growing expectations to look flawless, doctors make sure they get to the root of why someone wants a certain procedure.
“Sometimes it’s interesting what people will say. Whether they decided they wanted to do it because they were taking selfies and now they notice something and it bugs them when before it didn’t. I like doing cases that I know when I’m done they’re going to be super happy. If I’m worried about a case or not sure about the expectations then those are the ones that I’d rather not do,” says Breit.
Steever says,”I’m a big advocate of doing whatever you want to do to make yourself feel better. It’s about enhancing who you are. It’s not about changing who you are. Love yourself a little bit more!”
Not all plastic surgery is bad or unhealthy.
Surgeons recommend you give yourself time to mull over surgery decisions before doing anything too soon that you might later regret.