Social media has affected millennial women in worse ways than imagined. One of the adverse damages it has done pertains to creating false notions of beauty and standards so idealized that they are impossible to realize. With the onset of platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, there has also seeped into common perception, the usage of filters.
These filters put masks of unreal faces over the real ones of people in order to make them look ‘beautiful’. Almost mostly, these faces which are the epitomization of ‘beauty’ are complete emulations of European standards. And inevitably the one thing that all of them have in common is whitewashing the face. Most of these filter creators are white people and rarely do any filters ever emerge by brown or black-skinned creators in emulation of their natural features.
The European standards are once again, further distorted into a culturally appropriated mix of cheekbones, noses, jaws, lips that racial determiners find are the best parts in the various races. Filters create absolutely unhealthy realities. And the damage starts from a very young age since several adolescents by the time they are fifteen are already neck-deep in the social media validation culture. And the damage is more for women as the above-mentioned culture leads to an all encompassing need for women to ‘look beautiful’ as, on social media, the very existence of women is not validated unless they look a certain way and romp up all the likes and reacts. In the age of social media, we have forgotten to embrace our real bodies and our real selves. To look into the mirror and appreciate our real forms and faces, with all its marks and bruises and cuts and creases. We have forgotten to know ourselves for what we are- human, in our mad rush to emulate a perfection that is an insidious mix of racism and misogyny and is ridiculous to wish to materialize.