I:M

Snapchat: Filtering Out the Truth

I:M
Snapchat: Filtering Out the Truth

The dog filter. We think we like it because the ears are charming, the nose is cute; but it is not so harmless. It took me a while to realise, but the filters we all love most are in fact our enemies because they very, very subtly, change the shape of our face. They slim it ever so slightly, make our skin smoother, eyes bigger, noses smaller, cheekbones more defined –  though so delicately that we find it hard to notice, even though it has essentially warped our own appearance.

I take issue with this for several reasons. Yes, advertising definitely has, or tries to have a negative impact on the way we feel about our faces, our bodies; however, it is so widely slandered now that it is almost universally acknowledged that advertising sets an unreachable target for regular members of society. As well as this enhanced awareness, it has also been improved through campaigns to make advertisements more realistic, including more varied body types, race, and including members of the LGBTQ+ community; advertising now encompasses a far wider scope of society than ever before, and with this comes greater acceptance of these members of society who may previously have been spurned.

On the flipside, these snapchat filters warp our own faces without our own realisation. They distort our ideas of how we look through actually distorting how we look, though so subtly that it is difficult to grasp why we prefer our face with the (undying) dog filter. Evidently, it is not just this one filter which distorts it’s victim, all the filters considered ‘attractive’ do the same. Filters pit us against ourselves, forcing us to wish we looked like, well, ourselves, except the edited version.

I think we need to remember that if people are unsatisfied with themselves, then the want for self improvement products increases; this is not a conspiracy piece, though in a sad way, unhappiness does make the (economic) world go round. As a society, we are working, somewhat successfully, on beating unrealistic advertising campaigns; however, the snapchat issue creates a deeper problem. The dog filter is not only unrealistic because of the ears and snout –  if only it were that innocent – but because of the, unfortunately, more ominous distortion it creates. There is the well-known phrase, ‘don’t try and look like the girl in the picture, because the girl in the picture doesn’t even look like the girl in the picture.’ Now, instead of that girl being a supermodel, that girl is you. Look at the warped version of yourself with as much objectivity as you would view a photo-shopped advert, and realise reallife has no filter, nor does it need one.

 

JESS WILLIAMSON