The plastic surgery filters on Instagram are banned
Better late than never
By the swimming pool at a residential building in Mumbai, a bunch of pre-teens were contorting their bodies into Instagram-worthy poses against the setting sun. They were playing with the app’s popular effects — including the plastic surgery filters — apparent from the occasional squeaky cries of ‘I’ll post this one on Instagram’, ‘You’ll get soooo many likes’ and ‘omg, I love freckles.’
Arguments of ‘they’re too young to even be on social media’ aside, I was surprised by their knowledge of the app and how Instagram’s instant validation influenced their behaviour. While most of us are guilty of slapping on those adorable dog ears for a quick selfie, what ideas do the plastic surgery filters (thinning of the nose, brow lifts, cheek fillers) spark in their impressionable minds?
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The company behind the filters, Spark AR Effects, has taken a stand, and via a message on Facebook, announced that they would be removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram Effect Gallery. These ‘well-being’ policies align with Instagram’s move to crack down on users peddling diet products to users under 18 and banning accounts promoting diet/weight loss products that make miraculous claims. The company is making public attempts to acknowledge what constant comparisons to idealised images and near-perfect celebrities can do to even the most self-assured human’s sense of worth — not to mention spark off symptoms of body dysmorphia.
A welcome move in a time where we are already too hard on ourselves. In the meanwhile, I’m writing up my petition to Instagram for a Koala filter? Because those guys are adorable.
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