In an article written by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology, there’s a new trend bubbling among people with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). As it turns out, there are individuals out there looking to get plastic surgery because they want to look like their heavily filtered and edited selfies.
Inside the article, the researchers have called the rather disturbing trend as “Snapchat dysmorphia”. This was a departure from previous trend in which patients would aim to look more like their favourite celebrities.
What makes this Snapchat dysmorphia more peculiar than the usual case of BDD is the desire for patients to look like their edited selfies, with things like fuller lips, bigger eyes or a thinner nose, resulting in a look that’s often unattainable. This then leads to the question: when will this end?
Will patients post-enhancements take new selfies and continue to edit and add filters, only to discover that there’s something else they want to change based on the new layer of edits and filters? As mentioned by the paper, proceeding with the cosmetic surgery is unlikely to solve the BDD issue someone is having, and may even worsen the condition.
But all this does tell us something interesting: selfies enhancements are setting the next unhealthy standard of beauty for society today. While some – like bunny ears and the sort – are obviously there for playful embellishment, subtler edits made so easy and accessible to anyone with a smartphone may push those with lower self esteem to feel inadequate if they do not look like their edited self in real life.