Katie Couric Posts No-Makeup Selfie To Buck The Snapchat Dysmorphia Trend

Desiree Burns
August 10, 2018

"Snapchat dysmorphia" is a disorder also called body dysmorphia (BDD).

Researchers found that an increasing number of young people are asking cosmetic surgeons to make them look more like the artificially manufactured images they can create through apps like Snapchat and Instagram.

Studies have found that teen girls who alter their social media photos tend to be more concerned with their body appearance, and those with dysmorphic body image use social media for validation, according to the authors of a report published August 2 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

"I've had patients bring in selfies and say, 'I want to look better than my selfies, '" or come in with filtered photos and "want to change their facial shape, make their teeth brighter, make a blemish go away", says coauthor Neelam Vashi, MED assistant professor of dermatology, member of the dermatology department at Boston Medical Center, and director of BU's Center for Ethnic Skin and its Cosmetic and Laser Center. It is a mental disorder that makes people feel very preoccupied with how they look, even if others don't perceive their flaws.

Plastic surgeons are becoming increasingly concerned by teenagers who are seeking to achieve a "perfect" face, much like the one they can attain through airbrushed Snapchat filters.

People have done a lot of things in the quest for the ideal selfie, like angling their phone higher or finding the best light.

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This is affecting the type of plastic surgery people choose.

Now, the most common reason is because people are seeking "nasal and facial" symmetry, per the paper.

The trend is "alarming", the authors write, because filtered selfies often show "an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients". "They check off one thing, and it's gone".

Surgeons have said that "Snapchat dysmorphia" is becoming a nationwide issue amongst teens, according to new research from the Boston University School of Medicine. Experts need to manage these patients, the authors argue, "in an empathetic and non-judgmental way".

"It can be argued that these apps are making us lose touch with reality because we expect to look perfectly primped and filtered in real life as well".

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