A culture of contour


Although I no longer participate in the world of Snapchatting, I cannot help but be informed about the latest updates by my fellow peers.  Snapchat users find humor and excitement toward these new filter effects; throwing up rainbows, talking like a chipmunk, and videotaping in reverse.  They appear to enhance the experience of the many dynamic ways in which you can take a selfie.  But just in case the media’s influence on how you perceive your physical features did not already have an effect on you, be sure to use the contour filter when taking a selfie on Snapchat.

Contour as in the outline of something? Yes, as in the outline of your face being altered through the front camera screen in order to look how the Snapchat creators view a more ‘beautifully enhanced’ version of your face.

Recently, my friend and I were going through the different front screen filters and I noticed that one of the options consisted of contouring my face.  As I held the front screen of her iPhone to scan the outline of my face, the app instantly created a more ‘polished’ version.  My eyes were more prominent, the structure of my face was thinner, and the blemishes on my skin were mostly gone.  The face on the Snapchat front screen was the airbrushed, photoshopped, magazine version of my natural self.

I was immediately angered by the fact that this was an actual filter.  Staring at ourselves through the selfie screen is  already narcissistic enough, but altering how we truly look just makes us more obsessed with our physical features.

Unfortunately, this filter sets a tone for users to be more self-concious of their appearance and can be used as a confidence booster for all the wrong reasons. It scares me to think that generations younger than mine are already experimenting with these types of fictitious filters that will influence the way they perceive themselves.

As a young, female adult in today’s society, the pressure to be physically perfect is defintiely a common insecurity, espcially with social media. It is often hard at times to remember that it is not all about the perfect jaw line  or the high cheek bones or the exotic eye color or the clear skin that makes a person perfect.

It is the quirky personality, the silly smile, the weird facial expressions, the crazy thought process, and the sincere actions that make us unique inviduals.

No Snapchat, Instagram, or VSCO cam application can ever filter out who we truly are and we must advocate the vitality of inner beauty.