Filters. Something that started as a bit of Snapchat fun. The world went crazy for dog ears, butterflies over our heads & funny faces. Although slightly worrying when I found myself preferring the way I looked as a pig. I mean that should have been a warning sign then eh? But as most warning signs in life they often go un-noticed.
Animal filters & funny filters are some what harmless. It’s a bit of fun and it’s pretty obvious we can never become those things (well plastic surgery is pretty out there these days, so I wouldn’t totally write it off) but anyway – for me, I think snap chat went wrong when it started introducing ‘beauty filters’ …you know the ones, they give your eyes a little twinkle & make your face appear more in tune & smooth.
That bastard filter is the one that trapped me. I tried it once and was kind of hooked. Before I knew it anytime I went to take a face selfie, I headed straight to Snapchat as if my iPhone didn’t have a camera.
I became so used to the way this filter made me look that when I did take a normal photo of myself, I scrutinised the photo over and over.
Now, I would like to stress I am actually not a serial filter user, nor do I edit my photos beyond belief (other than lighting!) but when it comes to face selfies this particular beauty filter – I have been guilty of using on numerous occasions. The worrying factor is it’s actually not always obvious it’s a filter, so people actually think this is how you look when in reality, it isn’t.
This weekend I just so happened to take a photo on my normal iPhone screen, filter free and I didn’t have my usual break down. I actually thought I looked nice. I looked like me and my imperfections showed – which to me, made me look better and made me feel human. My photos looked brighter, the image itself was better quality and most of all it was just REAL. My little burst blood vessel on my nose shows, my freckles, my imperfect skin….the realness that makes me, me.
I’ve felt so over whelmed with social media lately that I feel like every part of me is trying to rebel against the typical status quo of it. Filters included. I’ve lost myself & what I stand for and what I believe in, because like anyone else with feelings, I have my typical lack of confidence moments and if something in that moment can make me look better – of course I’m going to jump at the use of it. But these things only cover up the problem, not fix it or solve it. Once the photo is taken I still feel the same inside and a filter cannot fix that. But I can. With my attitude towards my self.
I feel like a hypocrite advertising myself as a real talking, truth-speaking person (which yes I am) but how can I be real when some of the photos I am showing isn’t even realistically me? Yes I often have my empowering posts & my photos of my spots, but then in the next breath is a filtered photo. I can’t pick and choose when I’m real. I either am or I am not.
I’ve realised I’ve felt shit, and put pressure on the way I look, through my own actions. Just because these apps are on offer to us, does not mean a gun is held against our heads to use them. We have a choice. Always. But often tend to get roped into fitting in, keeping up, and thinking we need to be a certain way to be deemed as ‘beautiful’. But fitting in has never been me. I’ve always preferred to stand out and be a little different. And in all honesty, being ‘ME’ is something I am really good at.
I am so done with the fake ness of the internet. With the picture perfect illusions. I am done seeing things that are not real and I am done feeding that myself. I’ve reached my limit. From this day on, I will be nothing but myself. I will do what I love and that’s speak my truth. I will not follow suit or feel like I have to be doing this or that to fit in. Instead I will do everything I can to stand out.
I want to prove to people we don’t need filters. And that we are still beautiful without them. I want to build others confidence up, not advertise the use of filters. And from now on any filtered photos that do appear on my Instagram will be captioned and highlighted that they are. Because I don’t want to make other young girls, compare themselves to something that doesn’t actually exist.
I apologise for my hypocrite ways. But it was done out of low self-esteem & lack of confidence. But truth is, no filter in this world can fix that.
I’ve always wanted to be loved and liked for who I am, for what I have to offer and for what I give. So from now on that’s what I’m going to be and do. And in turn, I hope I can inspire you to do the same.
I’m not bashing anyone for using them, we all do and have. I just want everyone to love them selves with and without them. Because filters won’t exist one day. So make sure you love yourself for who you truly are. You don’t need to wear a filter in real life and you are loved, so don’t feel like you have to wear one for the internet either.