Former TV anchor Katie Couric is taking a stand against “Snapchat dysmorphia” by sharing some candid, no-makeup selfies on social media.
Plastic surgeons have noticed an alarming trend in America. More and more people are showing up at their offices asking if they can go under the knife to look more like their selfies.
This wouldn’t be a problem if these photos were just plain mirror-shots, but the problem is that apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and more now allow users to apply instant filters to their photos. Some of them are just fun and games, like adding an adorable dog nose and a pair of ears to your face, but there are also filters that smooth the skin, brighten your complexion, and make you look 20 years younger at the press of a button.
This is causing some people, both men and women, to acquire a sort of body dysmorphic disorder, where someone thinks that some part of them (in this case, their face) is somehow deeply flawed and in need of drastic correction.
But not everyone is falling victim to this trend. Some are speaking out, and one of them is Katie Couric. She’s recently fallen ill, but that didn’t stop her from posting a body-positive message while also calling attention to the disturbing Snapchat trend.
“An article in the latest issue of JAMA says plastic surgeons are increasingly getting requests to make people look as good as they do in their selfies after they edit them,” Couric said in her Instagram post. “Researchers call it ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ and they say it is having a negative impact on self-esteem and can even trigger body dysmorphic disorder, which is classified as a mental illness.
An article in the latest issue of JAMA says plastic surgeons are increasingly getting requests to make people look as good as they do in their selfies after they edit them. Researchers call it “Snapchat dysmorphia” and they say it is having a negative impact on self esteem and can even trigger body dysmorphic disorder, which is classified as a mental illness. Clearly, I am bucking that trend. I also have a terrible sore throat. #happymonday.
“Clearly, I am bucking that trend,” she wrote.
The JAMA article that she’s referring to was recently published in the Journal of Facial Plastic Surgery. “Filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients,” the article notes while explaining how this blurred line can lead to real problems for certain patients.
Not everyone is upset with the current trend. Some plastic surgeons note this as a positive step away from patients demanding to look like celebrities and supermodel, often when they have no resemblance to the person they’re referring to. Snapchat filters at least provide an idealized version of themselves, which is actually something a lot easier to work with from the surgeon’s perspective.