Snapchat Dysmorphia is a serious mental health issue that deals with social media and body image. With the rise of social media and appearance-altering filters, people are developing unrealistic expectations for their face and body.
Dr. Davis of Davis CPS, the leading Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Practice in Cherry Hill, NJ is seeing a rise in what industry professionals are calling “Snapchat Dysmorphia.” Dr. Steven Davis joined PHL17 to discuss the associated mental health issues with editing your appearance.
Watch Dr. Davis discuss this issue on PHL17. (Originally aired 9/25/19)
Snapchat Dysmorphia Transcript
Plastic surgeons are seeing a rise in what industry professionals are calling Snapchat dysmorphia. Now joining us to discuss the associated mental health with editing your appearance is Dr. Steven Davis. Dr. Davis we appreciate you being here.
What sort of social apps or media apps are we seeing the biggest issues with this, obviously, I would imagine Snapchat is one of the bigger ones.
Snapchat, Instagram, things like that, where you can actually have filters applied, is really causing an interesting situation. Because you know, years ago, people would come in with a picture from something in Vogue magazine, or People Magazine, and they say, Oh, this celebrity, I want to look like that person right now. They come in with their own phones. And they’ve doctored it up to make it look like they want the look. And they say that’s exactly how I would like to look, it’s crazy. It is it is. But it’s something that just kind of is formed, I guess over time of seeing and using these filters, is that correct? It’s true. And the problem with it is, so there’s a good and a bad with it.
All right, the good thing about it is, as a plastic surgeon, I get to know what their aesthetic values are. So I can see they made their nose smaller, they made something else happen. I can understand, that’s what they’re going for in their looks. The bad part about it is, it’s an unrealistic expectation a lot of time. So some of the things that they’re changing on their face, is really not something that can be done, easily, let’s say it’s going to be a big deal. And I don’t think that these younger folks understand what that really means.
But when is it too much? Because, you know, we do a lot of retouching on some of our photos, and say, okay, you have actually gone overboard at this.
So I’ll give you a couple of these signs to look for. But one of the ones that I think out of all the ones that I’ve given you to really look for, is, if it’s starting to affect your personal interaction with people, if you’re starting to hurt you in school, or your relationships with others, or at work, that’s when I think you really have to like step in as a parent or someone else to really like talk about this. A lot of times, it’s really a good thing, I’ll have parents come in with their children who really want to do something. And I turned out to be the bad guy. So I have the parents come in, and it is a good thing for me to be the bad guy, right?
So that the parents come in and go, look, I don’t want to have to deal with this thing right now, please help me explain to the kids, this isn’t something that you can just flippantly do. I’ll say you’re really much you know, more wonderful than you expect, you know, in based on your photos, why don’t you give it a little bit more time. Let’s see if that’s really what you want to do. In a year or so.
I’m curious how, how young? Are you seeing some of the folks that are coming in 15 to 16, right, things like that. I mean, it could be the case is before the body’s even done progress, right?
And there’s some things that really do need to be fixed. So we see some patients that were born with certain kind of disorders or certain kind of birth deformities. And they you know, naturally, that’s a totally different subject. But what we’re talking about here is just things where, you know, it’s an unrealistic expectation for what you can really achieve on that filter that they’re showing you on their phone.
Do you think that these companies should start taking some type of responsibility for this?
Well, I think that’s what’s starting to happen. So recently, as of about a week ago, Instagram actually started to talk about doing some Did you see that? They’re starting to talk about, you know, restricting the ages, but when people can actually start using some of these filters, and I think it’s probably going to be a good thing.
It’s something that we probably will see kind of expand a little bit with the other social media apps as well. Absolutely. Dr. Davis, incredibly important topic. Thank you so much for coming in. Thank you so much. Thank you. All right, well, coming up this morning dinner tonight.