SNAPCHAT DYSMORPHIA:

A NEW RE­AL­ITY OF BEAUTY FOR TO­DAY’S SO­CI­ETY

ArabAd - - SOCIAL SPHERE -

Gone are the days when peo­ple would bring photos of celebri­ties to the plas­tic sur­geon's of­fice and ask for Haifa We­hbe's lips or Nancy Ajram's nose? That's not the case any­more. Now, peo­ple want to look like them­selves - heav­ily edited or fil­tered ver­sions of them­selves, that is. Doc­tors have spot­ted a trend of peo­ple bring­ing in their own self­ies, usu­ally edited with a smart­phone ap­pli­ca­tion, and ask­ing to look more like their photos, ac­cord­ing to an ar­ti­cle re­cently pub­lished in JAMA Fa­cial Plas­tic Surgery by re­searchers from the Bos­ton Univer­sity School of Medicine's de­part­ment of der­ma­tol­ogy. The phe­nom­e­non is known as "Snapchat dysmorphia" and it's caus­ing wide­spread con­cern among ex­perts who are wor­ried about its neg­a­tive ef­fect on peo­ple's self-es­teem and its po­ten­tial to trig­ger body dys­mor­phic dis­or­der, a se­ri­ous men­tal ill­ness clas­si­fied on the ob­ses­sive­com­pul­sive spec­trum. "This is an alarm­ing trend be­cause those fil­tered self­ies of­ten present an unattain­able look and are blur­ring the line of re­al­ity and fan­tasy for these pa­tients," the ar­ti­cle reads. Be­ing able to edit away any im­per­fec­tions with ease has caused this surge in Snapchat dysmorphia, a term coined this year by Bri­tish cos­metic doc­tor Ti­jion Esho. In the past, photo re­touch­ing was only avail­able for celebrity photos in mag­a­zines or ad­ver­tise­ments but now, given the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of edit­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, any­one can trans­form their face, hair, lips and even re­touch their body. On Snapchat, for ex­am­ple, the pic­ture mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion fea­tures more than 20 dif­fer­ent fil­ters that users can sim­ply tog­gle through. Other ap­pli­ca­tions, such as Face­tune, take things a step fur­ther. For only $3.99, users can have ac­cess to a host of edit­ing tools that can do ev­ery­thing from teeth whiten­ing to mak­ing a per­son's fore­head, nose or waist smaller. The ap­pli­ca­tion has been lauded as "a Pho­to­shop edit­ing job in the palm of your hand" and even called "mag­i­cal." Ac­cord­ing to the an­nual Amer­i­can Academy of Fa­cial Plas­tic and Re­con­struc­tive Surgery sur­vey, self­ies con­tinue to be a ma­jor driv­ing force be­hind peo­ple who wish to get plas­tic surgery done. In 2017, the sur­vey found that 55 per­cent of sur­geons re­ported see­ing pa­tients who re­quested surgery to look bet­ter in self­ies - a 13 per­cent in­crease from the pre­vi­ous year's re­sults.

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