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Snapping Through a Lens

By Isabelle Elsasser
On February 15, 2019

At every party, get-together, function, or even class, there is going to be someone Snapchatting. Through Snapchat, you are seeing a person’s view of the world - or at least, the part they want to share. After the Super Bowl, PSU students started to Snapchat almost immediately about the big win and how much fun they were having. But behind that camera, there is a person who is seeking attention and the approval of others, even if they don’t realize it. They will take dangerous actions to get some of the shots and risk their own well-being in doing so. Along with this synthetic filming, there’s the Snapchat filters that can make any person feel confident with themselves and others around them. But are these filters really helping people fall in love with their bodies, or are they just masking the insecurities people don’t want to see?

One thing many people don’t notice is how influential Snapchat was in idealizing unrealistic body standards. Around 2014 Snapchat brought face filters into the mix, and it was a game changer for many. These filters could make you a cute dog, a funny character, or even a gold leaf goddess, but what do these characters say about our society? With the dog, for example, the filter lightens your skin, makes your eyes bigger, and slims your face, which doesn’t seem necessary at all. But this filter quickly became a user favorite that many still use today, and the filter frenzy quickly picked up. New filters are created monthly to bring the latest trends into a make-believe world, but all of these filters have several things in common, the airbrushed skin, large Bambi eyes, and slimming of the face. These small hidden things may not seem like a big deal, but they’re just setting more unrealistic expectations that people will never be able to meet, giving the challenge of feeling confident in your own body and helping others realize it also.

Falling in love with your own body can be challenging, there are advertisements demonstrating the “ideal” body type which some people can never achieve, people who are pressuring you to become someone you’re not, and social media that is probing at you to show off your life and showcase the latest hits, even if they’re not real. But none of this truly matters, what truly matters is yourself. If people are ever going to start realizing their truest potential, they need to look at the bigger picture, and that is themselves. I recently read an article a student had written about a teacher, explaining how the teacher had said in your life you need to help someone, even if that someone is yourself and that’s the kind of support every person deserves. Social media can be great if used correctly, you can make new friends, get in touch with friends you lost contact with, watch people regain their confidence, check the news, and so many more things, but there’s no reason why people should be slammed for not having an “ideal” body. When it comes to social media, Snapchat might be the most dangerous because of the actions people take to get the perfect shot and the way is idealizes certain bodies over others.



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