Eye Of The Beholder: Delusional Snapchat Junkies Want Plastic Surgeons To Turn Them Into Their Selfies, Say Doctors

Friday, 10 August 2018 - 12:08PM
Friday, 10 August 2018 - 12:08PM
Eye Of The Beholder: Delusional Snapchat Junkies Want Plastic Surgeons To Turn Them Into Their Selfies, Say Doctors
< >
Image Credit: Pixabay
Those of us who use social media platforms to stay digitally connected with the world are all guilty of it to some extent. Whether it's the selfies we post or the photos we allow ourselves to be tagged in, there is always some effort to control or affect how we are seen and perceived. CNN reports that this dangerous love of filters and perfection has spilled over into the world of cosmetic surgery and that doctors have even coined a phrase for it: snapchat dysmorphia.

via GIPHY

According to the report, doctors have seen a rise in the number of patients who bring in filtered images of themselves so that they can place them side-by-side with unedited photos to show exactly what they want the outcome of the cosmetic surgery to be. "Overall, social media apps, such as Snapchat and Facetune, are providing a new reality of beauty for today's society," read a new article published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery by a team at Boston University School of Medicine's Department of Dermatology. They argue that while things like cat ears and flowers are just "embellishments," other kinds of edits can be detrimental.

via GIPHY

Opening quote
These apps allow one to alter his or her appearance in an instant and conform to an unrealistic and often unattainable standard of beauty...Filtered selfies especially can have harmful effects on adolescents or those with BDD [Body dysmorphia disorder] because these groups may more severely internalize this beauty standard.
Closing quote


via GIPHY

The reason this subject is important to study scientifically is because we haven't seen something like it before. How we perform on the internet versus in real life has been a topic of discussion since message boards and AOL chat, but with the advent of social media, people are broadcasting every waking second of their personal lives to strangers for some sort of positive affirmation (likes, upvotes, etc.). "The experience of younger humans in particular in this regard, how they relate to their own appearance, is so profoundly different than at any other point in time," Dr. Patrick Byrne, director of the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told CNN. "We used to have photographs, of course, but we gazed upon them and thought about them infrequently."

Opening quote
Now, we're in this world where people are exposed to their own facial image thousands of times per year.
Closing quote


via GIPHY

One problem, according to the JAMA article, is that it's hard for plastic surgeons to distinguish between a patient with BDD and one who just wants more defined cheekbones. "Anything you do with BDD, they will not be happy with," Dr. Byrne said of the former, adding that they "have a habitual repetitive brain pattern. Even if you make someone look better, you're not helping them. You may be hurting them by deepening their obsession and reinforcing its source." 

Doing away with selfie culture may be impossible at this point, but it is something worth considering if its exacerbating a very real issue. Let's do more to make #nofilter more popular than it already is.


Science
Technology