Can Photo Filters Be Harmful?

Filters give us the power to augment our selfies at the touch of a button, but just because we can, does that mean we should?

Filters are widely available on most of our favourite platforms, including the giants of them all: Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. We’ve all taken a selfie and used filters to turn ourselves into cute puppies with lolling tongues but, more often than not, we use filters to improve our appearance and to erase the imperfections we see in ourselves.

So, What’s The Problem?

While filtering our images can give us an instant boost of confidence, the longer-term effects can actually be damaging to our mental health. We become accustomed to looking at our filtered pictures and start to feel as if our ‘real self’ doesn’t match up. This can lead to self-critical thoughts and negative body image.

Most of us have had negative thoughts about our body or face at some point in our life. Sadly, for some, these negative thoughts can become overwhelming and take over their lives, which can lead to more serious issues like depression or body dysmorphic disorder.  

Instagram Versus Reality

Filters are also used by many of the celebrities we follow on social media. These filtered images project a false reality, leading many followers to have unrealistic expectations about how that person actually looks in real-life. Some people become extremely self-critical of their own bodies as they start to wonder ‘why don’t I look like that?’.

It’s important to remember that social media isn’t always reality. Many people will only ever show their best side online, keeping anything that’s considered less than perfect out of sight. That’s not real-life. We all have our insecurities, even the people who seem to have it all. They’re just choosing not to show them.

Boost Your Body Image

Choose to take back control of your social media and make it a body positive place. Delete accounts that often leave you feeling less than happy about yourself and find new, positive body heroes to follow. Find people who promote health and body positive messages that make you feel happy to be in the skin you’re in.

Do what you can to boost the body image of others. Texting a complimentary comment to a friend or posting a nice message on someone’s picture could have a positive impact on that individual’s body image and really make a difference to their day. Sending out positivity is a great way to share the message that all bodies are beautiful!

Bin The Filters!

Take our #HSBinTheFilter challenge! Take a happy selfie and post it without any filter. No filter, no fear! Encourage your friends to take part to fill your feed with happy, REAL selfies. You might even feel inspired to keep it up and bin the filters for good! Be sure to use the hashtag #HSBinTheFilter so we can see our Hidden Strength beauties shine!

For more help on boosting your body image: https://ionpadel.com/for-me/well-being-and-health/why-dont-i-look-like-that/


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