There is a growing body of research on the impact of beauty filters on mental health around the world and the findings seem to line up: the public dislikes them and fears their ill effects on self-esteem. A recent survey conducted in the United States reveals that a significant proportion of the population would like to impose an age limit on their use, or even ban them altogether.
Should beauty filters be banned on social media? It’s a question on the minds of many parents, but they’re not the only ones, as a survey conducted by StyleSeat revealed.
The beauty and wellness booking platform asked 700 Americans to try the “Bold Glamor” filter, which guarantees a flawless face, and then asked them about their perception of beauty filters popular on social media. And the results were clear: three in five respondents thought they were bad for their mental health, and 70 percent feared they had a negative impact on self-esteem.
Contrary to popular belief, young people are not more likely to use beauty filters when posting photos or videos on social media, or at least fear their effects as much or more than other demographic groups.
Nearly three-quarters of Gen Z respondents (72 percent) think these filters have a negative impact on mental health. And with good reason: These apps, which alter users’ appearance, often to meet unrealistic beauty standards, could be linked to low self-esteem or even body dysmorphic disorder, which is characterized by an obsession with flaws. physical non-existent or imperceptible. .
The survey reveals that one in three Americans would like to look the same in real life as they do when looking at themselves through a beauty filter.
Implement age restrictions
In this regard, Americans are even more concerned about the impact of beauty filters on the mental health of younger people.
Many social platforms have rules and restrictions for younger users, especially teenagers and children under the age of 16 (the age required to register depends on the country of origin). But this does not apply to beauty filters. For this reason, one in three Americans now believe that beauty filters should be subject to an age requirement, and one in five believe they should be banned altogether.
It is important to bear in mind that beauty filters totally modify appearance according to very specific stereotypes: impeccable complexion, refined nose, perfectly sculpted chin and cheekbones, luminous eyes… A perception of beauty far removed from reality, especially when taking into account the diversity of the world population.
So it’s no surprise to learn that after viewing their faces through the “Bold Glamor” filter, about 20 percent of those surveyed said they felt less confident about themselves. And an overwhelming majority (80 percent) already believe that this type of filter has transformed beauty standards.
The impact of social networks on mental health and self-esteem is a concern not only in the US, as shown by a survey carried out by Edelman DXI for Dove, in collaboration with Mental Health Europe, and the e-Enfance association, published Last spring. .
Conducted among the general population, parents, adolescents and youth mental health experts, it highlighted the growing concern of health professionals about the use of filters in France. More than half (52 percent) felt that content that encourages heavy filtering could be the cause of feelings of anxiety, as was content that depicts perfect bodies or unrealistic bodies (44 percent).