It’s quite a common practice for people to edit their photos as there are tons of editing apps out there for them to use, so what could possibly go wrong, right? Well, according to a recent study conducted by Flinders University, editing photos can have a huge negative impact on one’s perception of their own body image.
Researchers from the Psychology department in Flinders University asked 130 women aged between 18 to 30 to view model-like pictures first on Instagram before examining their editing tendency.
What they learned was that the participants’ moods gradually worsened after looking at their own facial appearance as they took their time editing five of their pictures. On average, these women spent approximately 4.5 minutes on their photos editing out dark circles, blemishes, facial flaws, changing their face shape and skin tone.
Professor Marika Tiggemann concluded in her study that women invest a lot of their time and effort in taking, selecting and editing their pictures, like finding the best lighting and most flattering angle, which can then be further enhanced by filters or digital editing to maximise their appearance and appeal.
These women often take great measures to present the better version of themselves which can have an underlying harmful and damaging effects towards themselves.
“Women appear to be motivated by the wish to present the best possible version of themselves and are correspondingly substantially happier with their edited selfie than the original photo. Yet, at the same time, these activities have detrimental effects in terms of poorer mood and facial dissatisfaction.”
The study, published in the journal, Body Image, indicates that if women continue to proceed with extensive editing of photos, it can lead to the feeling of insincerity online.
Professor Tiggemann concluded in her findings that factors involved with the dissatisfaction of facial and body appearance stem from the whole notion behind society’s constant judging of women’s appearance and their efforts in making themselves look better than they do in real life.
Social media has a huge influence in our daily lives, especially on the way we perceive our facial and body image. It’s difficult enough that women are constantly being judged by society for how we look and what we wear. Editing our pictures to fit the ideal beauty standard inflicted upon by society makes it way worse.
In the end, we should strive to accept all kinds of beauty and to promote body positivity for all different body types. What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments!
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