Filters force fake looks to get likes

Art by Hailey Mosher

You’re sitting in math class and your ex-best friend walks through the door. She’s wearing her Lululemon leggings and a tight t-shirt. You know she posted a picture in that exact outfit.

 In the picture, her face was smooth, not a pimple in sight. 

Don’t be fooled. That’s not real. 

You take a look at her in class and see she has a pimple almost the size of a grape on her chin. 

Your next class, one of the prettiest girls you’ve seen on Instagram walks in.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

You search her profile. Her stomach is cinched in and her butt is pushed out. It looks like she’s been on that gym grind right?

Don’t be fooled. That’s not real.

You take a look back at the girl. Her butt is not as big as it was pictured. Looking at that image of the girl in your science class really hit you like a truck.

Standing in front of the mirror, you hate everything you see. Your butt, thighs, stomach, face – absolutely everything that you assume isn’t good enough.

I’ve been there. I get it.

“That’s not real”, a line that teens repeat to themselves constantly, a reminder that everyone deserves to keep stored in their heads. Those pictures you see everyday on social media sometimes aren’t real. 

Our society puts out this ideal image of the “perfect” person; no blemishes, a skinny waist, big butt, etc. Some people see it differently than others may, but everyone feels as if they have to meet this expectation that society has given us.

You decide to edit your selfie, because you got no sleep the night before and the bags under your eyes were awful. So where do you go?

One of the many editing apps. You told yourself you were only going to edit that one picture, just so none of your followers judge you. 

Then, it took a turn…

From face, to stomach, to hair, you changed your whole look just by using some apps. You went down the path of faking the looks, and getting the likes. Maybe you don’t want to be judged, but faking the way you look may just be another way for people to judge you. 

Remember:

Appearance doesn’t define who you are as a person. You’re more than just a body shape and facial features. 

From when we were younger kids that were being introduced to the social media world to teenagers that are dealing with the high school life, we are seeing celebrities that we aspire to look like. And it may change how we eat, or think of ourselves because we don’t look like our favorite celebrity.

Photo alterations make celebrities, models and everyday people look more pleasing to the eye. But what people need to remember is that it’s not accurate of their real features. 

Zendaya Coleman, a Disney star, actress, dancer, and singer, posted on Instagram comparing the difference between the original photo and the retouched photo from her shoot that would soon be used for magazines, advertising, etc.

“I had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated,” Coleman said in an Instagram post.

When the star saw that her body had looked distorted, she had to make it clear to her fans that she didn’t appreciate the fact that her image was retouched.

“These are the things that make women self-conscious, that create unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have,” Coleman said. “Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love.”

You’re not alone.

No one can look that perfect and still be human.

I recently spoke to students of Londonderry High School on their thoughts on photoshopping and how it affects them. 

How do you feel seeing someone edit themself?

Female Junior #1 “It makes me feel terrible about myself even when I know it’s photoshopped. It’s a look everyone wants to go for. My self esteem gets worse when looking at everyone that appears to be a model.”

Female Freshman #1 “It doesn’t affect me at all. They can do what they want, but I think it’s fake.”

Do you or someone you know edit their photos? 

Female Junior #1 “I’m trying to edit less, but I definitely edit my skin because my acne is disgusting. I don’t do the whole body thing because I know I couldn’t get away with it, but if I could I would. Adding a filter may be okay at times because it adds a different vibe to the picture.”

Male Junior #1 “My girlfriend edits herself, but she doesn’t need to. I think she’s beautiful the way she is.”

Female Junior #2 “I need to edit my body a lot. It usually takes me ten to fifteen minutes, but it feels embarrassing to even edit my body because I have to edit to get the skinny waist, and big butt.

Male Senior #1 “My girlfriend spends a lot of time editing herself before she posts anything on VSCO, Instagram, any of those. I’m not against it. I don’t have much of a say. It helps her confidence, and it makes her happy. She needs to learn to love herself.”

What advice would you give people who edit?

Female Junior #1 “It’s okay to edit yourself, but don’t edit yourself to match what other people want to see. Do it because you think you’re beautiful. It’s an unhealthy habit though, it can take you down a path you don’t want to go down. I’ve been down that road, and it’s hard to come back.”

Male Senior #1 “Work to be someone you want to be, the body you want. You can get the body you want, if you just work hard. No need for photoshopping.”

Meeting society’s expectations by editing your body can hurt you mentally. Causing some people to develop eating disorders, fall into a deep depression, anxiety, and decreased self-esteem. Instead of spreading the “perfect” photoshopped image. Let’s share our natural selves. 

 Love yourself. Share that natural beauty. Show people the real you that you’re proud to be.

Skinny, thick, pear-shaped, green eyes, blue eyes, whatever it may be. No matter what features you have, you are beautiful. Your followers would rather see a natural, unedited photo than an image where you made yourself look “perfect”. 

The real perfect, is you, for being true to yourself and others. 

Now go post that picture #nofilter. 

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