Are social filters bad for us? Let’s discuss…

Celebrating the launch of The Self Love Club campaign on MyBag, we wanted to dive into why this is an important message and discuss some of the social issues that make it sometimes easier said than done.

As we know, social media to the average person has become an everyday pass time, and growing up in the social media era has had many benefits. Growing businesses, maintaining friendships, inspiration and giving incredible things the platform to go viral – Captain tom springs to mind.

However, we are starting to see the negative effects of social media and filters, especially on young people and predominantly girls. The negative impacts are being spoken about more widely in the media, and on social platforms but are social filters bad for us?

are social filters bad for us


Many of us love to play around with the animal effects and character filters, and if you have ever tried to entertain a small child, filters are your secret weapon. They are the perfect way to hide any blemishes, or if you want to send a quick makeup-free pic! However, surveys are reporting a detrimental effect on confidence and self-esteem, which is linked to mental health and social anxiety.

Unfortunately, filters were created to make us feel better about ourselves but, it has become a catch twenty-two. Caring more about our online personas has meant filters have become the norm, showing what we deem the best version of ourselves. But not the real version. Airbrushing our skin, enhancing facial features, longer eyelashes, you name it. With apps such as Photoshop and Facetune, changing the way we look has never been so easy.

But what is the downside to this, that we then don’t like the way we actually look? That we are also presenting an unrealistic view of beauty to others? That then we are embarrassed, anxious or worse called a ‘catfish’ when actually out in the real world?

Many have asked the question, who does the blame fall on? Have influencers and a-listers contributed to the need to look picture perfect? With a huge surge in cosmetic procedures and fillers, requesting ‘the kylie jawline’ or the ‘Bella Hadid eyes’ it is pretty obvious, that there is a correlation.

But the reality is, that they have most likely scrutinized themselves in the same way. Platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok have created this cycle. This false narrative, the filtered version of reality and unrealistic beauty standards. Which has led to us scrutinising our appearances and comparing ourselves to others on a daily basis, sometimes without even realising.

Instagram algorithms are using artificial intelligence to determine what is attractive, not only that but, it is racially favourable, typically presenting beauty as eurocentric. Often promoting filters that lighten dark skin.

We are all starting to discuss this topic and knowledge is power. You need to be aware of the impact of social media filters, and that those subtle/natural filters are still filters. Educate yourself about body confidence and social media in general. You are not alone when you scroll through social media and don’t feel you’re life looks so picture-worthy, but it’s recognising that and having a healthy relationship with social media. Nobody is the same shape, size or colour and there is no such thing as the perfect body.

So our food for thought today, is that we need to spread that message to younger people who are possibly not old enough to recognise the difference between filters and no filters. That we can enjoy filters but know that we love the real version too. To encourage one another to bare our true selves, in the hope that it will spread confidence and self-love!


Written by Holly Thompson


Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Writer and expert