70% of Americans Say Beauty Filters On Social Media Reduce Self Esteem

Social media has in many ways allowed us to present our best selves to the world, but in spite of the fact that this is the case, these portrayals are very rarely accurate representations of who we truly are. Most social media platforms have a visual focus tend to offer filters that can beautify you, but they might also have the disadvantage of propping up completely unrealistic beauty standards with all things having been considered and taken into account.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that StyleSeat recently conducted a survey that asked 700 participants how they felt about the existence of beauty filters offered by social media platforms and other apps. It turns out that 70% of Americans are of the opinion that these filters can have a detrimental impact on self esteem. 60% also indicated that they can be bad for mental health overall, which points to a glaring issue with the state of social media as it exists today.

An interesting thing to mention here is that there are gender based and also generational divides in terms of how beauty filters are perceived. For example, 78% of women saw them as having a negative impact on their self image and self esteem, whereas just 59% of men said the same.

From a generational point of view, Gen Z was the most likely to indicate that they don’t like the way beauty filters make them feel uglier than they actually happen to be. As many as 72% of Gen Z agreed with this statement, with 67% of Millennials also saying the same.

On the other end of the spectrum, older generations were less likely to be aware of the negative affects of beauty filters than might have been the case otherwise. While 54% of Gen X stated that beauty filters can lead to poor mental health, just 32% of Baby Boomers felt the same way.

Members of the Baby Boomer generation are usually not cognizant of the pitfalls of modern tech because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up escaping their mental grasp. This might be why they don’t see an issue with how these filters can completely alter your physical appearance and encourage the adoption of beauty standards that are harmful to say the least.

These survey participants answered questions in the poll after using TikTok’s notorious Bold Glamour filter, which is arguably the most detrimental beauty filter of all. It is especially risky since it uses machine learning to constantly improve, which makes it harder to tell where the filter is propping up your looks. The lack of glitches may make for a seamless experience, but it can also lead people to believe that they are simply not attractive enough.

Social media platforms have a responsibility to solve at least some of the challenges that they have helped create. They can smooth out blemishes in one’s skin, alter the appearance of your eyebrows and even artificially lengthen eyelashes. The lack of skin whitening features make it even more nefarious, since the alterations it makes are less apparent and the subtlety might be the key to how dangerous the filter is.

Read next: Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp Are The Most Popular Social Networks Worldwide. Telegram Now Has More Monthly Active Users Than, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter
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