Taking a selfie on Instagram's built-in camera might be more harmful than you'd think. Sure, you might think adding on anime-style blushing cheeks, cat ears, or an animated pair of specs is harmless — but then you come across a filter with contoured cheeks and a nose that's just slightly different than yours, and you might think, "Do I look better like this?" Whether you're aware of it or not, those types of filters can create a significant disconnect between your brain and your body image, and that's exactly why Instagram has decided to stop featuring all selfie filters that mimic the effects of plastic surgery.
According to a post by Spark AR, Facebook's platform for augmented reality development, it will no longer carry any selfie filter that is associated with plastic surgery. It will also retroactively remove past filters with those effects from its Effect Gallery. "We want Spark AR effects to be a positive experience and are re-evaluating our existing policies as they relate to well-being," the post reads. "While this happens, we’re doing the following: 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." This comes shortly after Instagram began cracking down on sponsored diet content.
This means that starting October 23, you'll no longer be able to use Instagram filters that alter the appearance of your face in a way that is not achievable with makeup, like those that create drastically bigger lips, differing nose shapes, and unrealistically contoured cheekbones. You'll still find your wacky animal ears, faux freckles, flower crowns and the like, but eliminating the rest is just a small step toward minimizing a rapid increase in cosmetics procedures in young people. Doctors began noticing what was eventually coined "Snapchat Dysmorphia" in 2018 when more young patients sought procedures in order to look like the filtered versions of themselves.
Still, Instagram has been linked time and time again to low self-esteem and negative body image, especially in young women and girls. A recent psychological study shows evidence that those girls and women are highly more likely to want a cosmetic procedure if they spend lots of their time on social media (ahem, Instagram). Removing these specific filters won't change that overnight, but a baby step isn't a bad idea, either.
More on social media:
- Instagram Is Cracking Down on Harmful Diet Spon-Con
- Kids, Please Stop Plumping Your Lips With Glue and Posting the Photos on TikTok
- Why Finstas Are a Safe Sanctuary on Social Media
While you're at it, go behind the scenes of our November cover shoot with Sharon Stone:
Originally Appeared on Allure