The Detrimental Effects of the New Filtered Age

The era of, “is that really a bad bitch” or is that the filter?


Source: Instagram @bodyposipanda

Unfortunately societal standards portray natural as “ugly” and filtered as the new norm and most desirable. Gen Z witnessed the innocence of the Snapchat Doggy filter. It was cute and all, but cute’s no longer the standard. Nowadays, we see filters on Snapchat and Instagram that make us look done up. I have yet to come across a story that DOESN’T use a filter. Nobody can post their natural self on these social media platforms anymore, and if they do, they’re abhorred.


But do we really need these filters?


Did I actually just walk out of Dr. Miami’s office to achieve these high cheekbones? Absolutely not, but the filter sure looked like it. The filtered age is upon us and I myself refuse to fall victim to it, and the upcoming generation shouldn’t either. The social media platforms creating these filters are unifying one thing:


If it ain’t filtered, it ain’t cute.

But that’s not the case. Filters should be used to our own discretion, but to change people’s facial features and structure is, in my opinion, too far. They don’t stop there though. Some filters beat your whole face with winged eyeliner, lashes, and of course some contour, others actually let you photoshop and change the things you don’t like. Makeup and plastic surgery are subconsciously being thrown at us at an alarming rate through the use of filters.


Feeling like you can’t post a selfie or picture without a filter is a direct effect of this new phenomenon. But I want you to know you don’t need that! This primarily falls on us young women and girls because of the beauty standards constantly held at our throats.


We’re expected to always look presentable with hair looking neat, faces polished, and body “snatched for the Gods.” And if we don’t match this perfect image of the ideal woman, we’re criticized. The amount of pressure that’s placed on us is accentuated through the use of face filters.


I decided to ask one of my friends to take pictures with and without filters in order to show how much of a difference it makes. She didn’t feel comfortable enough sharing the images but her reaction to the two images was significant.


I asked her how she felt about these and this is what she said:


“On a day where I am not confident in the way I look, it is always nice knowing that there will be a filter to cover up my blemishes and make me feel more confident. However, at the end of the day, that is not reality. In life you are always going to have good days and bad days. There’s also days when you are going to look in the mirror and believe yourself when you say you look beautiful and some days you won’t. I believe that social media has created this “perfect image” of what society believes a beautiful and perfect person should like. By going on Snapchat and choosing a filter that thins out your nose, sculpts your jaw line, makes your lips look a little plumper, or adds mascara to your eyelashes simply feeds on to this image. Although it may be a long journey for some, learning to love yourself no matter what your hair looks like, or the texture of your skin is, is much more important than trying to fit the guidelines of this perfect image”

This is an era filled with distorted pictures that are filters. We as a society can’t change the presence of filters, but we can change our outlook on it. When we see filters, it’s important to remember that they’re fake. We can’t get too comfortable looking at ourselves with filters because it taints our own self image. We, as young girls and women in this generation, never want to get to the point where we feel like we need to rely on augmentations.


Source: Instagram @jameelajamilofficial

We are beautiful.


It’s okay if you walk out and post pictures fresh faced. You don’t need to look more glamorous to feel sexy or pretty. Trust me, your time will come. And I’m personally thankful that these filters didn’t exist when I was younger because I know I would’ve fallen prey to that image too. I can only imagine how my self esteem would differ if I was exposed to filters at a different age. Although we’re no longer little girls, we have to remember that young people do look up to our generation. It’s important to view ourselves positively regardless of the use of filters ultimately for our own self image, but also to set an example.


I’m not advocating to banish face filters forever. I like to use them once in a while too. But we have to depend on our own beauty. It is a MUST.