Plastic Surgeons Notice The Influence of Selfie Filters. They Call It “Snapchat Dysmorphia”

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Back in the old days, people would get to a plastic surgeon’s office with photos of celebrities showing them specific features. But today, doctors notice that people want to look like themselves… Well, almost like themselves!

What Is “Snapchat Dysmorphia”?

“Selfies – Living in the Era of Filtered Photographs” is an article published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery by researchers in the Department of Dermatology (Boston University School of Medicine).

“Snapchat dysmorphia” is a disorder also called body dysmorphia (BDD). It is a mental disorder that makes people feel very preoccupied with how they look, even if others don’t perceive their flaws.

These people want to change their body and look like their filtered selfies. They use Snapchat or Facetune to edit their selfies and make them feel prettier. Then, they go to surgeons asking them to transform them into their filtered selfies. The authors argue that these apps could harm teens that are easily impressed and that could suffer from body dysmorphic disorder:

“This is an alarming trend because those filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients.”

Fixing Body Dysmorphic Disorder

One of the authors of the article, Neelam Vashi, who is an assistant professor of dermatology (Boston University School of Medicine) said that if people cannot edit their imperfections in real life, they go to surgeons to have them removed:

“It’s remarkable. What used to lie in the hands of… celebrities and beautiful people who were innately beautiful made to look more beautiful, now it’s in the hands of anyone.”

The authors explain that turning to surgery will not fix BDD – it would make the disorder worse. The researchers at the Boston University recommend that the patients with this diagnosis get therapy and medication instead of plastic surgery.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere