September 9, 2020
While “authenticity” is highly valued these days, you wouldn’t know it by looking at social media: Just as many women wouldn’t leave the house without some form of makeup, many Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter users wouldn’t post a selfie without a filter.
In the age of image-altering apps like Facetune and seemingly flawless influencers, many would likely admit to being filter-dependent. In fact, according to a survey results posted by Bustle, fully one-third (33%) of girls and young women will not post selfies online without using a filter.
The findings, published by the UK-based charity Girlguiding, highlighted that two out of five of the young women (40%) surveyed “feel upset” that they can’t look like the way they do online.
Between influencer culture and social media ads and posts, more than half of the girls said they have seen ads that have made them “feel pressured to look different”—and this figure is higher for girls who identify as LGBTQ.
The findings also revealed girls from Black, Asian, and minority backgrounds are “more likely” than their white peers not to use social media “because of fear of criticism of their bodies.”
As part of their 2020 survey, which spoke to more than 2,000 young women aged 11-21, Bustle reports that Girlguiding is calling out the apps, filters, and online adverts that “knock girls’ confidence.”
In reaction, a new #FilterDrop campaign has emerged online—but what is it and how is it helping?
UK-based model and make-up artist Sasha Louise Pallari launched the #FilterDrop campaign after noticing influencers “advertising a makeup brand with a beautifying filter on.” Taking to Instagram, the 28-year-old claims “false advertising” in this way is contributing to low self-esteem.
“I so strongly wish you would realize the vast scale of damage the constant use of filters are,” she wrote in the caption. “Flawless, poreless, scarless, wrinkle-less skin does not exist and it’s only because of the overuse of these [filters] we believe it does.”
In a video posted to her Instagram page, the model showcased how drastically different filters can make you look. In the clip, she’s seen heavily filtered and with her “normal skin.”
And, following the response to her filter-free images, Pallari has since devoted her Instagram page to normalizing skin blemishes on the app, as well as exposing the deceptive nature of filters.
She writes in another post: “Please think about what using filters all the time is doing to our already damaged society. A LOT of money is made from us not feeling good enough. So let this be a reminder that your pores, wrinkles and the texture on your skin are beautiful, yet still the least interesting things about you.”
The model also questioned the lasting damage filters could have on children who may base their self-worth on “how beautiful they are” and “the filter they need in order to even be beautiful.”
It’s a legitimate concern.
People seem to be watching. The #FilterDrop campaign page on Instagram now shows hundreds of photos of people ditching the filter and sharing what they really look like. Here’s hoping for a more unfiltered reality.
Research contact: @bustle