Is Snapchat Dysmorphia a Thing? Dr. Buford Weighs In

Social media is powerful, and if you’re anything like millions of other Americans, you might even start your day with a quick glance on your favorite social app. We use these tools to find products we love, interact with our friends, and share our own story—but oftentimes, the stories we see and share are only partly true; we’ll call it the “filtered truth.” 😉

If we’re not careful, the instant beauty possible with filters can cultivate unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. Dr. Buford recently sat down to chat about Snapchat Dysmorphia with Babe—here’s what he had to say.

“The ability to try on new looks can be empowering. If you wonder what you’d look like with clearer skin, or with a new hairstyle, you can use Facetune or Photoshop to try it first, to see if you like it.”—Dr. Buford

What is Snapchat Dysmorphia?

Facetune, Photoshop, Snapchat, and plenty of other applications allow for a quick set of editing tools. In seconds, you can alter your facial features, giving you an instant glow, larger eyes, a thinner nose, and fuller lips. While this is fun to do from time to time, it is altering our digital realities, which can result in what some surgeons call “Snapchat dysmorphia.”

What is this social media phenomena exactly? Dr. Buford explains that some see the changes made by these filters and believe they might obtain the same results from a cosmetic procedure. While patients aren’t coming in asking for puppy dog ears, they are sometimes using Snapchat and other applications to provide examples of looks they’d like to achieve through surgery, many of which are simply impossible, even with the best plastic surgeon. In short, filters may encourage unrealistic expectations.

Using social media to be empowered

While some surgeons are worried about this trend, Dr. Buford states, “The ability to try on new looks is very empowering, if you wonder what you’d look like with clearer skin, or with a new hairstyle, you can use Facetune or Photoshop to try it first, to see if you like it.”

Like anything, using Snapchat to see yourself digitally altered is only a problem when it’s done in excess. When someone brings in a filtered image of themselves to a plastic surgery consultation, they have to understand that results have limits. While a qualified surgeon can get a patient closer to the look they’re hoping for, and there are many treatments for refining the skin, they will most likely not be able to alter their appearance to the degree of a Snapchat filter.

Plastic surgery is personal

If you want to look a little more refreshed, we’re here to provide you with honest suggestions and treatment options that can enhance your natural beauty. As a board certified Denver plastic surgeon, Dr. Buford can help you become the best version of yourself while still looking natural; contact us today to learn more.