Last week, Spark AR announced a new rule that bans all plastic surgery filters from Instagram’s Effects Gallery. Spark AR is Instagram’s partner platform that allows users to create and upload their own AR (Augmented Reality) filters.
This announcement comes only two months after Spark AR opened the platform to everyone in the public. As of August 13, anyone could create an AR filter to share with the world. However, this new rule may be the first of many restrictions going forward.
In a Facebook post, Spark AR asserted it is, “reevaluating existing policies as they relate to wellbeing”. The company also stated they are:
- “Removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram Effect Gallery”.
- “Postponing approval of new effects associated with plastic surgery until further notice”.
- “Continuing to remove policy violating effects as they are identified.”
A few days later, Spark AR posted an update with links to their new review policies. They also alluded to the potential for more wellbeing updates soon.
This is likely a response to the intense criticism Instagram has faced from watch groups and mental health charities. They accuse the platform of turning a blind eye to the negative impact social media can have on mental health. Specifically, body image, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders are all linked to Instagram use. Not only that, but Instagram has also inspired some users to make more permanent changes. A growing number of people now seek out help from the best plastic surgeon of Denver (read here) to bring their selfies to life.
Filters under fire still used by top celebs like Love Island’s Maura Higgins
Instagram did not call out any specific filters in its announcement. However, the filters called “Plastics” and “Fix Me” were discreetly removed.
Other filters like “LVBeauty”, “Top Model Look”, “HOLY NATURAL”, and “Perfect Face” are still available in the Effects Gallery though. While these filters do not directly promote plastic surgery, they do make users appear to have had fillers and botox.
Plastic surgery is indeed completely normal, and in fact humans have been performing various cosmetic procedures for thousands of years. However, obsessively using digital filters on social media that mimic plastic surgery can become toxic for self-esteem.
That doesn’t stop the big influencers on social media from using them though. High-profile celebrities like Love Island’s Maura Higgins and KUWTK Khloe Kardashian were both spotted recently using “LVBeauty” on their stories. Teens are particularly vulnerable when they see their favorite influencers using these filters (more here).
Instagram users flock to the best plastic surgeon of Denver to improve their selfies
Sometimes, people want to make permanent changes after seeing the way they look in filters like “LVBeauty” or “SmoothSkin”.
Some users on Twitter have even posted selfies of themselves with some disturbing captions. One person said, “this new Instagram filter has me looking up plastic surgeons”. Another said, “would yall be mad at me if i got plastic surgery to look like an instagram filter”.
Plastic surgeons see this trend as well. A 2017 survey found that 55% of clinicians have had patients who “wanted to look better in their selfies”.
This wave of people wanting plastic surgery for the digital world instead of the real world is a totally new phenomenon. One doctor reported to the Huffington Post, “everybody wants a quick fix, a magic surgery that fixes everything, mainly because they want to look good in their selfies”.
Another surgeon complained about the unrealistic expectations clients have from consistently seeing themselves through filtered images.
The way forward together
People should be able to explore possibilities with the best plastic surgeon of Denver so they can look amazing in real life. Not just on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat.
It is important for doctors to act as a guide for patients who have high expectations from social media. Doctors should help them understand what is actually achievable in their real lives. It is also important to have a healthy dialogue with patients around how social media can influence their desire to have plastic surgery.
Celebrity influencers also have the opportunity to be a part of the change. Instead of promoting unhealthy filters, they should instead speak out about the impact of social media on mental health. There are positive role models out there like Chrissy Tiegen who has just won AdWeek’s ‘Brand Visionary’ award. People love her for her authenticity and honesty, and perhaps others from Love Island or KUWTK will take note.
There will always be a market for plastic surgery services. However, people should understand forces at play when making such a permanent decision.