Filtered Beauty – Technology Masking Imperfections

Analyzing BLM – Examining a Civil Rights Movement

The Self-Checkout Experience – Losing Sanity

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Social media, as it is, encourages users to share their brightest moments while eschewing those which may be a bit more grotesque in the form of some filtered beauty. As these platforms are presented, it typically becomes a masturbatory monologue that ultimately flattens the overall human experience, leading to the one-upmanship of other denizens of these platforms, however subconsciously.

To explain flattening: if someone on a social media platform has a kid and gets a cute photo of the newborn (which gains a lot of traction) others will be similarly hard-pressed to ensure that they can also have an ideal ‘birthing’ photoshoot. The one-upmanship begins, creating a bizarre new normal; instead of celebrating successfully bringing new life to this world, you’re more concerned about if the newborn is displaying an adequately cute face.

Social Media, The Negative Force

This, overall, flattens the human experience, and it happens in multiple aspects across human life. From graduations to marriages, it presents an odd opportunity to ignore the achievements one should be celebrating in exchange for ensuring it is portrayed as ideal. The reality of the situation becomes inconsequential to appearance 😠. Filtered beauty consequentially becomes the unattainable ideal.

Narcissism for All

It’s always a bit odd to watch this occur as I am uncomfortably familiar with this type of narcissistic behavior from my maternal figure. Well before the rise of social media, narcissistic tendencies wrought my siblings and I apart as general side-characters for my mother. 

It was a frustrating endeavor. Now, social media has been encouraging these tendencies of narcissism to the point that many scientists are concerned about the continued usage1 bringing about further narcissistic displays in humanity.

Regardless of how you want to spin it, social media has consistently been proven harmful for all users.

This chasing of appearances, perhaps inevitably, began to include technology. A very many number of users on social media use technological filters to ensure that they’re portrayed as they want to be seen. The removal of acne, the widening of hips, removal of rolls and cellulite – filtered beauty is used to an outlandish level in modern media 😠, and is directly affecting how growing children view their bodies.

Sins of the Father

Let’s not pretend this is a modern problem with no rooting in the past couple of decades of models. You have jaw-droppingly gorgeous women who are then airbrushed and photoshopped to look thinner, or stronger, or simply different that generates new standards of beauty. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was a saving grace as a male teenager, and it’s frankly composed of the most beautiful women in the world still being photoshopped.

To the content creators, this is irrelevant – they are interested in gaining the most traction possible using their bodies, and ideally trying to turn that into a revenue stream. This is, bluntly, fucking kids up. Children viewing these images don’t understand that skin has texture, organs are inside of the body, and being thin enough that your waist disappears entirely when you turn to the side is not normal, healthy, or achievable.

These influencers are warping and stretching themselves into what they perceive as the ideal beauty, taking the build-a-bitch workshop to a new level entirely.

Hesitation Paid Off

Admittedly, this piece sat half-written for a while before I picked it back up again, as I was at a crossroads. I didn’t want to push images of celebrities and influencers photoshopping themselves because there are clearly issues at play, and I’m occasionally discerning regarding who becomes the butt of the joke. Poking fun at people with body issues doesn’t seem to ‘punch-up😠.’

Laws of Comedy

Here’s a little-known fact – it’s acceptable in humor to punch upwards, but never down. So, one could easily poke fun at the insanely wealthy, but only homosexuals should be able to joke about themselves. This is considered ‘safe’ comedy.

I throw that shit to the wind because we’re all a fucking disaster.

Now, however, the landscape of digital altering could very well be changing. The UK has proposed acts that will restrict the usage of filters and editing – images that are filtered of celebrities will need to hold a label stating as such. Parliament states ‘Edited photos on Instagram are fueling a mental health crisis because they’re creating a warped sense of beauty.’

In late June, Norway passed a law stating that it’s illegal to not label ‘retouched’ photos as such on social media. How this will ultimately be enforced is, at the moment, up for debate. It seems, however, that many European countries are at least willing to broach the conversation about how photoshopping and filters are damaging upcoming generations – time will tell if the United States will follow.

  1., P. (2019, September 13). Narcissism and Social Media: Should We Be Afraid? Psychology Today.
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