filter dysmorphia

SNAPCHAT FILTER DYSMORPHIA

dysmorphiaHow many selfies do you take each day? Our phones have become an integral part of our lives. They help us search for data, research information, interact with our friends and family. And, generally speaking, are a great addition to the quality of our lives. Most phones today are like a small computer.

However, lurking in the shadows there exists some definitive drawbacks or the dark side of our phones. Prior to the invention and use of phones occasionally as a Plastic Surgeon, I would get a patient who brought me a picture of a famous person. And, they tell me they want to look like that person. Elvis was the most common male to emulate. A variety of females also want to emulate. This process is frowned upon. This is because it may indicate a deeper more disturbing attitude about oneself.

Snapchat Filter Dysmorphia

The selfie allows us to take multiple pictures of ourselves and then idealize them with Photoshop, airbrushing, and other filtering devices. This process can be both helpful and harmful. One of the techniques I employ for patients regarding rhinoplasty or any body contouring procedure – is for them to show me pictures of people. I ask them to show me noses or bodies they like. More often than not these patients bring in pictures from my website. These have not been photoshopped and have not been filtered.

They are actual before and after photos of our patients. Others will bring in, at my request, or share with me photos on their phone of individuals with noses or bodies that they like. I do not use this as a method to emulate or copy these other results. As a surgeon, I strictly use it as a tool to help me understand what this patient finds tasteful and appealing. I always assert a disclaimer that these pictures cannot be made into a duplicate. In other words, you will not have a nose or a body like this picture.

Some patients who have an obsession with selfies and the use of filters to create an ideal version of themselves may have underlying psychological and psychiatric issues in regards to filter dysmorphia. These are not good candidates for surgery. So, Snapchat dysmorphia refers to individuals who use these filters to create wish pics of how they would like to look. This is a point of concern and a red flag during my consultation.

Filtering Tools

There are approximately 55 million users of Facetune 1 and Facetune 2. These are the more popular airbrushing and filtering tools. Furthermore, there are other signs and symptoms that correlate with the overuse of selfie filters. And, the obsession with flaws in our appearance that lead to filter dysmorphia. These patients although rare must be directed away from cosmetic surgery toward some form of treatment and possible therapy.

As I said above, the majority of our patients who come in with which pics are very stable emotionally and understand clearly the limitations of the photos that they present and the result for their specific procedure.

 

THOMAS TREVISANI, MD
BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON
MEMBER AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AESTHETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
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