The growth of selfie culture is perhaps the most shocking consequence of these platforms, promoting a world obsessed by money, beauty, power and fame. Apps such as Photoshop and FaceTune are leading the way for unrealistic beauty standards, and are therefore partly to blame for the growing epidemic of body dysmorphia and mental health issues. Why I'm Quitting Facetune. Amanda Montell has worked as a beauty editor in Los Angeles for over three years. She previously served as the features editor for Byrdie. Swiner is a family medicine/general medicine expert, covering a broad spectrum of both medical and mental health issues. She loves taking care of the family as a whole—from. Mental Health In the world of Instagram filters and Facetune, it's hard to know what anyone actually looks like anymore. Facetune has made it easy to edit our photos, and Instagram story filters have made it easy to edit our videos. This phenomenon is being referred to as ‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’, and could be triggering Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a mental health condition where people become fixated on imagined flaws. Filters and Facetune (and the lack of transparency about when people use them) are giving people a warped idea of what they should look like.
Written by Mitali Shukla
Sophomore history major George Tajonera understands the toxicity of social media – Instagram in particular. He even deleted his account in fall 2018 in order to remove himself from what he refers to as a “battleground for popularity.”
“I genuinely don’t believe people post on social media to be authentic,” Tajonera said. “It’s all to maintain a certain image of your life by only including the highlights of it with the intention of impressing peers.”
Instagram has a reputation of one of the worst social media platforms for mental health, according to BBC News. It has an undeniable negative effect on body image, said Ella Hardy.
Hardy, a sophomore screenwriting major, said it has started to affect young people whose lives have always centered around social media. Tools like Facetune and Photoshop give anyone the ability to change their appearance to adhere to beauty standards, she said.
“People who use Facetune are blatantly saying, ‘This is what I don’t like about my body,’” Hardy said. “Facetune perpetuates stereotypes of what people think they should look like.”
A 2018 study at the University of Pennsylvania found that undergraduates who cut down social media use to 30 minutes a day for three weeks showed lower rates of depression and loneliness. But in 2019, 31 percent of Instagram users were between the ages of 18 and 24, according to Statista.
Tajonera belonged in that category before he deleted his Instagram last year when he found that the platform was no longer entertaining and reflective of real-life expectations. And he noticed some unhealthy aspects of the platform that became detrimental to his mental health.
“It seemed as if people were actively trying to make their lives seem more spectacular,” Tajonera said. “(Instagram became) a competition as to who was living the most exciting life because people would post about parties, vacations and the like.”
Facetune And Mental Health Assessment
Tajonera described social media as exacerbating the effects of fear of missing out, also known as “FOMO.”
Ashley Blacher, sophomore public relations and advertising major, social media is detrimental to self-perception.
“It affects your self-esteem because it’s an opportunity for validation from people. You can either accept that validation or that’s not enough,” Blacher said.
Blacher also deleted her Instagram in high school but downloaded it again before starting at Chapman A 2015 study of 227 female college students found that women often compare themselves to friends, acquaintances and celebrities on social media.
“You see these pictures and people are doing things just for the pics on Instagram,” Blacher said. “In high school, I’d feel FOMO and feel bad about myself because of the models and celebrities.”
Young people are the easiest to influence, Hardy said.
Facetune And Mental Health Services
“My entire life, I’ve had the internet, a phone, a computer. They see these images and think they are normal, which leads to them believing that they themselves aren’t normal,” Hardy said. “It’s so sad that young people are being conditioned to see themselves and others this way.”
Photo retouching apps can wreck havoc on our self-esteem.
Almost everyone today has heard of Facetune—an application that allows you to edit your photos, including your body and facial features. These body–editing apps are far too commonplace, as they can be extremely detrimental to social media users' self–esteem and mental health. Facetune alone has been downloaded over 60 million times since its launch in 2013.
Facetune And Mental Health
In the era of social media, users feel immense pressure to present 'perfect' versions of their lives on their feeds. As we scroll through our favorite platforms, we regularly see highly curated images of people and their lives. It can be easy to assume these photos accurately reflect people's realities and equally as easy to feel the need to digitally manipulate your posts to fit in.
There's nothing wrong with brightening up the lighting of a photo or fixing some red eyes, but society's obsession with body–editing technology is extremely toxic. As Dr. Peace Amadi, an associate psychology professor at Hope International University in California, told Women’s Health Magazine, “It seems harmless at first, but a slight edit here and a slight edit there can spiral into obsessive–compulsive tendencies around body image.”
Viewing photos processed with Facetune promote unhealthy expectations surrounding physical appearance and can even encourage disordered eating. A study from the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that teens who edit their appearance in photos were more likely to report high scores related to eating and body–image issues.
Body–editing apps can poison impressionable social media users' self–image, a phenomenon that has only been exacerbated in the era of the COVID–19 pandemic, where we are continuously surrounded by screens and digital platforms. Lightricks, Facetune’s parent company, reported that as social distancing began, the use of its apps increased 20 percent.
Facetune isn’t just harmful to the consumers of digitally edited images, it's problematic for the users as well. This digital plastic surgery can be very addicting, the pursuit of perfection easier with each passing alteration. When users drastically alter one photo of themselves, they feel pressured to maintain a consistent image and edit their later pictures as well.
This eventually can lead to anxiety and disappointment, when people see the discrepancy between their ideal version of themselves and their authentic appearance. Clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula told Good Morning America that this phenomenon might actually be causing people to start seeking cosmetic alterations at younger ages.
This practice of severe image alteration used to only be accessible to trained professionals. Now, anyone can do it. We no longer have just re–touched celebrities and supermodels to compare ourselves to, but also hundreds of friends and followers using editing apps available for download on your cell phone.
We'll all place a filter or two on our Instagram photos or blur out an annoying zit from time to time. But society's obsession with extreme Facetune–driven photoshopping has to end. By raising awareness of the adverse effects these apps have on mental health, we can collectively diminish their influence. Besides, we can all work on loving the person we see in the mirror a little bit more.