(Photo Source: Instagram/Medium.com)

Filters banned for promoting negative body images

After receiving increased backlash that the new filters promoted body negativity and growing concerns surrounding self-harm and online influence, Instagram has removed all of its filters associated with plastic surgery or cosmetic facial changes.

The move comes after some especially alarming ones were posted on the platforms’ stories tab. In August, Instagram followed in the footsteps of Snapchat in allowing users to submit their own filters to be used publically on story mode.

The goal in doing so was to further promote connections and foster creativity. However, left unchecked this power turned into something more harmful than positive.

Filters drastically altering lip size and shape, widening eyes and changing their colors, creating more chiseled cheekbones and ever showing the “blueprints” of plastic surgery became frequently used options so users could appear a certain way. This mold creates a new benchmark of beauty standards and makes users feel they have to look a certain way to be relevant.

With the growing studies on associations between depression and online presence, it seemed obvious that these filters would cause some trouble. In reaction, Instagram announced that they would be removed and that publically submitted filters would be monitored more closely to prevent this from happening in the future.