I was an early adopter of Snapchat and after using it on and off for a few months ended up loving it. I built up a decent sized following and loved sending snaps to my friends, sharing clips of daily life, and playing with the filters and geofilters.
I think Snapchat is a super fun tool to use to show the un-curated side of life since most of what we see on the internet is highly curated and made to look a certain way. Snapchat allows businesses to show what their world looks like behind the scenes, and for everyday people to share their sillier sides. With the introduction of the filters, though, suddenly Snapchat didn’t feel as authentic and it started to mess with my self-image.
Who doesn’t love swiping through those filters every day to enhance our selfies with flower crowns, airbrushing and puppy dog faces? The more I used Snapchat, the less I started sending ‘real’ selfies. They were all filtered, enhancing my features and making me feel even more pretty with every snap. Soon I went from the occasionally filtered photo to not being able to send a selfie without a filter overtop. That airbrush filter, though, amirite?
When I started to hate the ‘normal’ selfies I was taking on my iPhone without the addition of the Snapchat filters, I realized I had a problem. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. My skin looked dull, my face seemed fuller, and I would scrap every single selfie I tried to take because I didn’t like how I looked in them. Then I’d go back to Snapchat, swipe to that airbrush filter and feel better about the image on the screen.
Around this time I was also noticing that I was spending way too much time on Snapchat, watching people’s stories, catching up with the Global stories and articles and all around just wasting heaps of time. I’d had enough.
For the last few months, I haven’t been using Snapchat and have escaped from the filters that were making me feel like I wasn’t good enough just the way I am. I’ve stopped wasting time scrolling through stories, taking useless selfies for friends, and reading all the useless nonsense found in all of the additional content.
It frustrates me to know that I let some stupid app change my own perception of myself and frustrates me even more that it’s probably contributing to similar body image issues in the younger generations that are more prominently using this app. As a woman who stands up for positive body messaging and breaking beauty standards, I can’t support an app that makes women feel they aren’t beautiful enough without being airbrushed.
Instead, I’ll take those unfiltered selfies and love the natural face looking back with its dark circles, forehead lines and imperfect skin, without the airbrushed makeup and flower crowns. I’ll use Instagram stories to share my uncurated life and I’ll say see ya later to Snapchat forever.