Why Are Instagram Filters So Harmful For Our Self-Confidence?

Last updated by Katie M.

You’ve no doubt seen them pass by on your Instagram account, that’s right, by clicking on the "Story" tab, you have the possibility to apply filters on our face. Sometimes they are just colorimetric touch-ups, sometimes they are cute with little cat ears. However, most of the time, we use them to give our skin better texture or even to eliminate our dark circles. Although it may not seem to be a big issue, this has an impact on our vision of ourselves and on our mental health. Why do Instagram filters, and more generally this social network, impact our confidence so negatively?


Filters are damaging for our confidence and increase our complexes

A trivialization of the use

The filters of the "Story" tab of Instagram pose two problems. The first is the fact that when we look at stories, we see women with perfect skin and a beautiful complexion, to the point where we often forget that they use filters, which precisely, modify their appearances. It is an alteration of their skin, since no one can be "blurred" at this point.

The second issue is that it encourages us use them to take a simple photo or send a video to a friend. It's like we don't look good enough naturally, with the NORMAL flaws on our skin (pimples, dark circles, pores, etc.).

😥 The trivialization of filters really impacts our self-confidence since it skews what we see on the screen. We will never look as "good" as what we see in our phone.

A distortion of reality

Filters are sometimes cute; they add freckles, huge eyes and even little cat ears. Nevertheless, many of them subtly distort our faces. From a plumper upper lip, a thinner nose, to enhanced cheekbones... Instagram's filters have become a form of real plastic surgery when applied, meaning it then becomes impossible to love our body and face without filters. The fact that they change our appearances, while remaining discreet, contributes to the increase of complexes.

>>> Find out how you can transform your limiting beliefs

Instagram is one of the worst social networks for mental health

It provokes the fear of not being good enough

The cult of image on Instagram is very harmful to our mental health and a study conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), a British charity dedicated to public health, proved it. Indeed, since everyone retouches their photos and videos, we immediately have the feeling of not being good enough, when compared to these supposedly perfect people.

There is also an expectation of validation from others via likes, comments, shares, etc… The study found that the 1479 young adults and teens surveyed are always worried about what others will think of their photos and looks.

➜ The study showed that Instagram was the #1 social network for those with anxiety disorders

The desperation of comparison

The drop in our self-confidence and the fear of not being good enough are not the only negative effects of Instagram. In fact, the RSPH notes another, even more insidious phenomenon, and that’s the act of comparing one's life via what others show!

When we compare our life to that of an influencer with thousands of followers and who travels all the time, we feel like our life is empty, or even flat and insignificant. This comparison is toxic because we don't know what this person's life is really like.

💭 We often forget that people show us what they want us to see.

>>> Read up on tips to feel freer than ever before

The need to disconnect

In order to preserve one's mental health, it is important to take some distance. We can already start by unsubscribing from accounts that make us feel bad, whether it’s because they use too many filters or lead a life that seems too perfect. Some Instagram accounts look good at first, but they, yet they only bring about toxic positivity, so be careful to sort out your subscriptions! Then, you ought to disconnect from social networks from time to time; when on vacation for example, instead of checking Instagram, try to enjoy the moment!

💪However, there are Instagram accounts that are good for us and our self-image. Indeed, some influencers have decided to display their difference and turn them into strengths! This is a positive step in learning to better about, so why not follow these accounts?❤️

Editor’s opinion: Consume with moderation!

Instagram can hurt us and make us feel bad about ourselves, but it can also entertain us, inspire us and encourage us to meet nice people. The trick is to know how to use it! Keep in mind that it's all retouched, that people only show what they want to show, so be sure to choose carefully which accounts to follow and everything will be just fine. If these images of perfection are making you feel self-conscious and damaging your self-confidence, then it's time to stop or to turn to a professional to boost your self-esteem.

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Article presented by Katie M.

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