Face & Body Editing Apps and the Looming Mental Health Crisis
The lack of body positivity and acceptance is negatively impacting the youth, pushing them towards constant anxiety.
Do you remember that one time when no matter how much you tried to hold your breath, your stomach didn’t look flat enough? And when you tried taking a selfie your pimple would pop out?
Well, let’s accept that all of us have at-least once in our lives edited our pictures to make them look more ‘appealing’. But did we stop at that one time?
Apps like Facetune, ModiFace Makeup and others like them, used heavily to edit waistlines and facial features, have become dangerous for our body image, especially when our online selves start to differ from the faces and bodies we wear in real life.
“In lieu of their quest for validation, these users often loose their authentic selves. This constant pressure created by social media and these apps leads to people having a low mood, eventually leading to eating disorders, chronic worry, fatigue and depression. All this makes me realise that the concept of beauty today is skewed, it doesn’t include being healthy.”Seema Hingorani, Psychologist
Psychologists are of the view that people who consciously or sub-consciously seek validation are the ones who spend hours fixing their flaws on these apps.
The youth tends to look at themselves based on the number of likes and comments they get on their social media posts which eventually becomes a constant source of anxiety, pressure and self depreciation.Kamna Chibber, Psychologist
Is Social Media the Culprit?
While some believe that "beauty" is natural and tied to our genetic and reproductive fate, the rules of the game have changed since photoshop made its entry. And so have the outcomes.
Dr. Anup, a plastic surgeon talks about a phenomenon called ‘Facebook Facelift’, where one is so conscious about how they look on social media that they consider plastic surgery as an option to fix what they see as flaws.
A survey by Fortis Healthcare has revealed staggering numbers regarding body shaming. It concluded that 90 percent women recognised body shaming as normative behaviour.
“Many don’t have a real problem but a psychological problem which is Body Dysmorphia. People want to look attractive on social sites. Many girls and boys are coming forward for Facebook Facelift — a word coined in west — to acquire aesthetically pleasing looks.”Dr. Anup Dhir, Plastic Surgeon, Apollo
Are the Apps Poisonous for Our Self-Image?
These apps might help you look thin and glowing, but they are definitely not helping your self-confidence. “Around 50% of the young boys and girls come to us because they want to enhance features like their lips or get a nose job because they think its a necessity for their social media,” said Dr. Anup.
But where does this stop? When do you know that you’ve gone overboard with that airbrush tool or nose lift?
Social media is evolving no doubt, but it constantly makes us question ourselves. There was a time when changing the appearance of a woman in a photograph would take hours and hours of expert, painstaking work by hand. And now, thanks to the rapid rate at which software has developed, anyone can retouch a photograph of themselves in a matter of seconds.
Facetuning might feel great at first, you can give yourself a free nose job. But the longer you spend fixing your nose and toning your cheeks, the fatter they look in the mirror.
Body Positivity: The Need of the Hour
We need to constantly think about what we are doing to ourselves and make a conscious effort to accept our flaws. It’s okay to not be a size zero and it’s okay to have outbreaks on your skin.
Young women (and men) shouldn’t let false advertising destroy their self-confidence.
It’s time for us to realise that it is okay to not be a size 0, cellulite and blemishes are natural and a barbie figure, isn’t really be an ideal figure.
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