It’s no secret that many people have a celebrity in mind when they seek cosmetic treatments. This has been the case for a few years now, be it a fuller lip or an enhanced chin. 2018, however, is seeing a rapid shift in the procedures requested by clients; instead of wanting to look like a specific celebrity, many young people are seeking treatment that will make them look like a Snapchat-filtered image.
Cosmetic doctor Dr Tijion Esho, who has a cosmetic clinic in London and also stars in Channel 4’s Body Fixers, coined the phrase ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ to explain this phenomenon. As a cosmetic clinic, we believe this is an important issue that should be discussed.
What is Snapchat Dysmorphia?
Seeing photos of ourselves across social platforms can makes us more critical of our physical appearance. After all, it’s easier to zero in on ‘flaws’ with so many pictures to choose from; it’s also natural to want to fix them. For a lot of people, filters do just this.
Snapchat filters are known to smooth skin and soften features, making noses look straighter and eyes appear bigger. As a result of this, more and more young people are using filtered pictures of themselves as inspiration for the cosmetic treatments they would like done. These Snapchat images tend to be harmless as a reference point; the problems start when people really believe they can change their features to look like the filtered (and idealised) version of themselves.
By judging themselves by a standard that isn’t real, patients internalise unrealistic expectations of what they can look like. This phenomenon is worrying cosmetic doctors and mental health practitioners around the world.
The Issue of Snapchat Dysmorphia
Body dysmorphic disorder falls on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum and is an excessive worry about a perceived flaw in appearance, usually accompanied by unhealthy habits to hide ‘imperfections.’ This can range from skin picking to plastic surgery.
With the widespread use of photo-editing apps like Snapchat, a new level of physical ‘perfection’ is all over social media, increasingly becoming the new norm. As this happens and perceptions of beauty change all over the world, people’s self-esteem is affected and there’s a real possibility of triggering body dysmorphic disorder or ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’.
According to Dr Tijion Esho, he constantly needs to tell patients that he can’t offer them cosmetic procedures based on filtered pictures, because the images they’re aspiring to aren’t real. In fact, surgery to address these perceived imperfections may worsen the underlying body dysmorphic disorder.
While there’s nothing wrong in seeking cosmetic treatments, it’s also important to ensure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Altered selfies can make people lose touch with reality, causing them to believe they can look ‘perfect’ all the time.
The result of so many young people using social media as a means of validation is that they want to find someone who will help them to look like filtered versions of themselves. At The Aesthetic Skin Clinic, we firmly believe that everyone in the industry has to ensure cosmetic procedures are performed responsibly. If a patient appears to suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, it’s unethical to proceed with treatments that may worsen the condition.
Our experienced staff will be more than happy to help with any questions you may have, no matter which of our cosmetic skin clinics you choose. So, if you’re looking for one of our award-winning treatments, contact or visit our Guernsey cosmetic clinic, Jersey cosmetic clinic or Belfast cosmetic clinic today.