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Is “Snapchat dysmorphia” affecting our selfie esteem?

Posted at 10:47 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 00:47:04-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- There are all kinds of filters for photos, but can altering images to show a better version of yourself have a negative impact? Some call it "Snapchat dysmorphia."

"Teenagers often see themselves as imperfect and they see themselves as imperfect compared to their peers," said Gary Rotfus, licensed clinical social worker. "At what point do you stop altering your image and you are good enough?"

Gary Rotfus has been a clinical social worker for over two decades. He says lowered self esteem, depression, and eating disorders are all results of something he calls Snapchat dysmorphia.

"It's not encouraging them to deal with what their own defects are. It's not encouraging them to accept themselves as they are," Rotfus said.

Everyone has an opinion on filters.

"I don't like them, to be honest," said Christine Delaby.

Everyone also has an opinion on selfies in general.

"Whenever you take pictures, or selfies, I feel it's very narcissistic," said Alina Efimova, visiting Salt Lake City.

Behind closed doors, plastic surgeons say Utah patients bring pictures to appointments, hoping to look more like their filtered images.

"For a $3.99 app, they can get in there and create what they think is a perfect body image or the perfect face," Rotfus said, "go to their plastic surgeon and say, 'this is what I want to look like;' just not a healthy direction for them to be going in."

However, beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

"If it makes them feel good, they can do that," Boncedellen said.

"For me, I feel like you were born with what you have," said Efimova. "I would keep my face."