Culture

Apparently, Snapchat Filters Are ‘Problematic’

(Thomas White/Reuters)
What’s unacceptable about making yourself appear more attractive in photos?

According to a column on PopSugar, the fact that some Snapchat filters can make you look more attractive is “problematic.”

In the piece, entitled “Why Snapchat Filters Are More Problematic Than Pretty,” Aimee Simeon writes that she liked Snapchat before the filters, because it was then that she “flaunted [her] most authentic self.” Later, when the filters came out, she did like some of them — like the “frightening bunny” one — but found that others “were a little more troubling.”

“Troubling,” because they made people look more attractive.

“At the press of a button, my rounded cheeks and nose are suddenly contoured and chiseled. Every pimple and imperfection vanishes — and I am no longer me,” she writes. “Instead, I’m transformed into a thinner, more refined version of myself . . . the more ‘socially desirable’ me.”

“As I hold my phone to my face, I wonder what someone who is actually self-conscious of his or her nose, lips, and weight feel [sic] seeing these features being altered,” she continues.

Does society put a lot of pressure on women to look perfect all the time? Yes, it does — and that’s something I reject. I’m far from a person who “gets ready” to go out every day. After all, I don’t want to hang out with anyone who wouldn’t want to hang out with me because my hair extensions aren’t always clipped in, or because I almost always choose to wear flats, boots, or even slippers instead of heels. (Let’s face it: I like to be able to jump around.)

But Snapchat filters? I love them. I mean — I really, really love them. They’re so freeing! I can walk around looking like Bon Jovi (as I sometimes do) and still post a selfie without anyone ever knowing! I can have a giant zit on my chin, and cover it up with a flower sticker or even an American-flag one, if I’m feeling patriotic. The truth is, I kind of look like a young McCauley Culkin without makeup on, and it’s nice to be able to transform that face into a lush-lashed angelic one at the press of a button if I feel like it.

The key words there, of course, are “if I feel like it.” I don’t always use filters, because I don’t always care. It just depends on my mood, and I think that most people feel that way. Simeon says she often finds herself “thinking about the people using the catfish filter who would prefer to look like their retouched self,” and I just have to ask: Why would they be using the filter then? It’s not like they’re being forced to do so. People use them because they like them — and believe it or not, it’s actually a decision that each individual is more than capable of making for herself.

And as for the whole unrealistic expectations thing? Literally everyone understands that literally no one actually looks the way Snapchat filters make them look. Honestly, whenever I see anyone’s Snapchat-filtered photo, I just mentally add a few wrinkles and zits. Using filters to look hotter is just something that’s kind of fun — and honestly, there’s nothing “problematic” about that.

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