CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More young people across the country are pursuing plastic surgery to look like their photo filters, researchers say.
Research shows people are basing plastic surgery decisions off how they look on Snapchat filters and it’s causing an increase in body dysmorphia.
A Lowcountry therapist said the changing culture, including filters, is changing us.
“It sets the expectation and people say I have to look that way, I can appear that way and I have to look that way and it gets into people over exercising and feeling bad about themselves and my real image doesn’t meet the expectation of the doctored image,” John M. Walters, a therapist at Roper St. Francis, said.
A new study from Boston University shows people who use filters are more accepting of cosmetic surgery and will use the filters to guide cosmetic surgery decisions. The survey was conducted by Johns Hopkins medical students with 252 participants.
Walters said filters create an idealized version of ourselves.
“If you want to emulate the filter then that’s what that would be that,” Walters said. “That’s the idealized, oh I look better I feel better, when I see myself that way. You can’t have the filter all the time.”
The study included 73 percent women and 53.2 percent who considered themselves Caucasian. The average survey age was 24 years old.
Some participants used various social media platforms while others did not.
While the self-esteem scores researched during this survey showed no correlation with social media, and photo filters; the use and acceptance of cosmetic surgery increased in users of Snapchat and Tinder, the study found.
Instagram users also showed an increase in consideration of cosmetic surgery but showed hesitance in following through.
The study found that test results in this possible “Selfie Epidemic” can begin to help doctors, including physicians and psychiatrists, to discuss patient perceptions of cosmetic surgery with users of certain social media platforms.