Instagram has, recently, hit headlines for its stance on the cosmetic industry; more specifically, on people who are not qualified professionals advertising cosmetic filters on the social media network. Instagram is banning plastic surgery filters and restricting weight loss ads to young people under 18.

Although some users say they miss the filters, there’s no denying that this bold move has been well received by most people, especially because the camera effects have been deemed irresponsible.

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Why Has Instagram Banned Cosmetic Filters?

This decision comes after the social platform re-evaluated its policies in order to ensure its filters are a positive experience for everyone.

By removing all augmented reality (AR) filters that show or promote cosmetic surgery (such as filters which portray lip fillers or facelifts, for example), Instagram aim to stop harmful effects to people’s mental health.

After all, the relationship between social media, appearance and mental health is undeniable. More and more young women are asking plastic surgeons to recreate the filtered looks in real life, as they wish to attain the ‘augmented’ aesthetic; this creates concerns that self-esteem, self-confidence and other mental health issues are being impacted.

While social media can be helpful when it comes to self-expression and identity, the truth is that it also appears to be creating a mental health crisis in young people as well.

In 2018, over one billion people have used Spark AR’s face-alteration filters, which just goes to show how popular these effects are.

Spark AR is the company that creates filters which alter people’s appearance as if they’ve had cosmetic surgery; they said that they want to offer a positive experience to people, so they had to re-evaluate their policies and how they impact users’ wellbeing.

While they do this, Spark AR have removed the filters from Instagram’s gallery and put a hold on approving new effects associated with plastic surgery.

What Do We Think at The Aesthetic Skin Clinic?

The decision to ban filters such as Plastic, which mimics the impact of extreme cosmetic surgery, and FixMe, which actually depicts the lines surgeons make before procedures, has been welcomed by many.

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We understand why here at The Aesthetic Skin Clinic. Research shows that filters that change people’s faces and appearances can actually make them feel worse about the way they look. For this reason, the ban on such filters can help to promote wellbeing.

We believe that mental health is incredibly important, so we applaud Instagram’s stance. Getting plastic or cosmetic surgery is a big decision that should be made for all the right reasons – and it’s important that you understand why you want it, the results you hope to achieve and, of course, that you’re doing it only for yourself.

Changing your appearance to fit someone else’s idea of beauty is detrimental to your wellbeing, so it’s not something we approve of at any of our clinics. When you make the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery, you’ll have an initial consultation with us where we discuss the procedure, as well as your expectations, before going ahead.

We’ve previously talked about Snapchat dysmorphia, so we’re aware of how this matter can affect people. Filtered photos, including selfies, can be damaging to teens and people with body dysmorphic disorder, as they may severely internalise these ‘beauty standards’ and end up with further body perception issues or mental health problems.

Furthermore, plastic surgery filters are popular among celebrities as well; the vast majority already had the treatments they’re emulating with the effects, such as Kim Kardashian. Therefore, to see so many public figures not only using the filters once or twice but actually posting most, if not all, of their pictures with them, means they have become an inseparable part of how their audience sees their face.

Some filters are fun, but some should be taken with a pinch of salt – at our cosmetic clinic in Guernsey, cosmetic clinic in Jersey and cosmetic clinic in Belfast, we always make sure that you’re choosing surgical and non-surgical procedures for the right reasons and we don’t base your treatments on filtered photos. We’re happy to answer any questions you want to ask about our procedures and their results, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.