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A disturbing trend is hitting the streets, and it owes its origin to the popularity of Snapchat. Snapchat is no longer just a fun social media platform where you get puppy eyes and nose–it’s now the fuel that drives people seeking to turn their look into the version of themselves that they see on Snapchat filters.
Coined initially by Esho Tiji, the term “Snapchat dysmorphia” is a type of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and a condition caused when a person seeks plastic surgery in order to look more like their filters on Snapchat. As unbelievable as it may sound, this disorder is fast becoming a trend according to a paper published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
Snapchat dysmorphia is a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which is an unhealthy obsession with “supposed” flaws in your physical appearance and looks and the need to correct these flaws through plastic surgery. Gone are the days where a star-struck and overly obsessed fan would passionately clutch a picture of their favorite celebrity hoping to look like them someday. Now, social media seems to be making matters worse by creating an enabling environment for people to want an unrealistic look. This serves as a trigger for people to be very self-involved in how they look physically.
How then do you know if you are drifting into Body Dysmorphic Disorder? The clearest symptom is when you find yourself obsessing all the time over supposed flaws in your looks and physique that no one ever seems to notice. When you start to take notice, it is important that you seek expert help so that you can get better. Plastic surgery is not and can never be the answer.
The increasing popularity of Snapchat and social media, in general, has made us look at ourselves more critically, thereby increasing the tendency for one to objective his or her body. This fuels an unnatural need for a perfection that does not seem real.
This is indeed a cause for alarm because the line between reality and fantasy is no longer visible to patients. All that exists is an unrealistic image that must be gotten with no care for their safety. They seek to have bigger eyes, fuller lips, and thinner noses among others; laying emphasis on their appearance and looking to plastic surgery as the ultimate fix to their flaws, which is the wrong solution.
Even though plastic surgeons are quite wary of this trend in terms of its safety and the end result, it has done nothing to reduce the demand of patients for these unrealistic procedures in order for them to look better in their selfies just like the way the filters make them look. According to Dr. Neelam Vashi, plastic surgeons are going to be dealing with this disturbing trend for years to come especially in the light of the increasing new filters being added to Snapchat and Instagram.