If you have a social media account where you post photos, such as Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook, chances are that you have used a filter to improve how the photo looks. This is often the case especially if you are posting a photo of yourself. As social media has been on the rise in past years, it has become an environment where the photos you take and decide to post online, especially photos of yourself, don’t seem to look good enough unless they have fancy filters on them. Social media, as we know, is loaded with photos of celebrities, models, beauty experts and influencers. This is where expectation versus reality really comes into play because, of course, we expect celebrities and other personalities to always look their best, have the perfect face of makeup on and be wearing the best looking and trendiest outfits. But, the reality is that they are all human beings just like us, and they don’t always look perfect. They too have their moments when they are bare-faced, hair up, in their sweatpants, sitting on their couch watching their latest Netflix binge. These personalities just typically don’t post photos of their more relaxed moments on social media. However, even when they do look their best, they still feel as though their photos need to be edited or have filters on them to make them look even better.
This is problematic because the edited photos create an unrealistic standard for how photos of ourselves should look, and can have negative consequences on those of us who see these photos on social media. This is the reason why makeup artist and model, Sasha Pallari, launched the #filterdrop campaign on Instagram. Pallari realized how dangerous it is for people, especially younger children and teenagers, to be seeing these unrealistic and sometimes naturally unachievable appearances on social media, and thinking as a result that they are not good enough in comparison to what they are seeing. According to BBC News, Pillari posted an “online rant” on her Instagram account (@sashalouisepallari) about this issue and about her idea for the #filterdrop campaign. The campaign asks people to post photos without filters on their Instagram accounts to really embrace their appearances and “value who they are above what they look like.”
The issue of social media containing many depictions of unrealistic physical appearances and the negative impact of social media users comparing themselves to these images has been an issue for a long time. We all have flaws, and we all have insecurities, because no one is perfect. The images that are posted on social media often give off the wrong message because they seem to say that if we do not look like the people in those filtered photos then we cannot be considered beautiful. This is so far from the truth because everyone is beautiful in their own unique ways, and that is the message that Pillari is trying to convey through her #filterdrop campaign. You do not have to have the perfect, glowing skin with the smallest of pores and the perfectly shaped body to be considered beautiful.
This world needs a new standard of beauty, but that standard shouldn’t be one thing. Society sets standards that are too high to achieve. The beauty standard is so high that even celebrities who we already view as perfect and beautiful feel the need to put filters on their social media posts to make them look even more attractive.
There are so many young and impressionable people out there who are influenced by what they see on social media every single day, and standards of beauty that are set by filtered, heavily edited and unrealistic photos should not be seen as reality. Everyone should be given the chance to feel confident in themselves, not only in their physical appearance, but also with what’s in their heart as well. We are all beautiful in different ways. No one needs a filter to see that.