In 2018, researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine found that people were bringing in their own filtered selfies to plastic surgeons, asking to look like the improved version of themselves, The Washington Post reports.
Two years later, the trend is only increasing, according CNN.
“Snapchat dysmorphia” — the term used to describe the idea of changing your face to look more like your filter selfie — is still very much a thing in 2020. So how does it work?
The original report from BU suggested that filtered selfies could be “blurring the line of reality and fantasy” and causing some to develop “body dysmorphic disorder,” a mental illness where people become hyperfixated on perceived physical flaws, reports The Guardian.
Photo filters on Instagram and Snapchat will automatically smooth skin, narrow face shape, and widen eyes, reports the Independent. So, because of this disorder, people will call for plastic surgeons to help them rebuild their face to look like their selfies.
The term for this photo filter fixation, “Snapchat dysmorphia,” was coined by British doctor Tijion Esho, The Washington Post reports. People are calling it a new subclass of BDD, according to Industry Global News.
One of the most common cosmetic procedures people are getting is dermatological treatments like microneedling that make a person’s face appear airbrushed, but in real life, CNN reports.
New York City plastic surgeon Lara Devgan’s Instagram videos of gold microinfusion facials that, she says, will give the appearance of “glass skin.”
Additionally the survey reported a 24% increase of patients under 30 actually receiving those cosmetic procedures. The survey press release specifically credits selfies and Snapchat for bringing cosmetic procedures on the young into the mainstream.
Dr. Kamleshun Ramphul told CNN she believes the impact of photo filters — particularly in vulnerable teens — should be thoroughly investigated.