#NoFilter

I’ve Been Living Under a Rock – What Are Filters?

Let’s take a second to discuss the trend that has swept through the nation: filters. Brought to us by Snapchat, these are digitally altering effects that can be used to make you look like anything, from a dalmatian, to even a rainbow-puking baby.

 

Why Are We So Obsessed with Them?

Yes, we all call them a ‘bit of fun’, but essentially, filters have split into two very distinct categories: some are ‘Joke Filters’. These are the ones that nearly distort your whole face, making it obvious that the selfie isn’t intended to look attractive, simply funny. For example, the ones that perhaps make your face look like a giant raspberry, or a dancing panda etc.

However, the second category is more sinister – ‘No-Filter Filters’. These ones retain an element of cartoonish fun, for example dog ears, whilst digitally enhancing your face in subtle ways. For instance, the famed ‘Flower Crown’ filter narrows your jawline and nose, smooths out your forehead, widens your eyes, plumps your lips and even throws in a free set of grey contact lenses to boot. Whilst all of these may seem like obvious alterations, when put together with the guise of a flower crown being the centre of attention, these subtle changes are easily overlooked.

 

Beauty Inflation

Go through your Snapchat stories. Count the number of times you see a selfie posted without a filter – not many, huh?. So many people are now coming forward saying they feel uncomfortable to post a selfie without a filter. Why? Because these filters have re-defined what ‘beauty’ is. They have created a world where everyone is ‘beautiful’ and therefore to post a selfie without a filter automatically puts you below your filter-sporting counterpart.

But how can we conform to these beauty standards? As a generation, we should be celebrating all types of beauty; small eyes, wide nose, prominent jaw and all! But now, such features are being hidden by the contortion of pixels, designed to re-arrange your face into something completely, unnoticeably new. And the scariest part is, these filers are making us all look the same.

 

It’s All About Inner Beauty

Your use of a filter creates a domino effect, whereby the next person may feel more inclined to use one in order to keep up with this ever-inflating sense of beauty that Snapchat has created. It’s time to act. Stop using these filters and slowly we can normalise what beauty means again. We can learn to accept the wrinkles on our foreheads and the natural colour of our eyes. So, instead of spending time hiding behind a mask on social media, let’s focus on getting our inner beauty ‘on fleek’.

 

 

 

What do you think – would you be able to abandon your favourite filter?

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#HowToBeInstaFamous

  1. Have a talent. Like a real talent such as being able to smize really well or pose perfectly no matter the stares from onlookers asking you to kindly not take that photo in the middle of the restaurant – or road for that matter.
  1. Invest in a photography degree with a specialism in Photoshop. No one becomes #InstaFamous with wrinkly elbows or food stuck in their teeth.
  1. A degree in English is also a must. Spelling errors are a minefield for trolls and a good caption can act as a serious driver for those quality likes.
  1. Be rich. If you’re not driving a car worth approximately $70,000, then how is anyone expected to appreciate your manicure in its full beauty when held up against your steering wheel?
  1. If the above isn’t possible (as of yet), at least be friends with rich people. Better yet, be friends with any one of the Kardashians and the fame will follow.
  1. Have pretty friends. Gone are the times when we became friends with people based on our compatibility. Now, we are in an era where the attractiveness of your friends is linked to our own attractiveness. If you can’t post endless, stunning candids with your BFFs, are they really your friends?
  1. Be a professional Make-up Artist. If you can’t contour with a knife, what do you think you’re doing on social media?
  1. Have the body of a Greek god without actually putting in work because you’re too busy taking selfies whilst in the free weights section. On the flip side, all you eat is kale, chicken and have a lifetime supply of detox-tea.
  1. Above all, you need to actually care.

 

 

These are just a few handy hints to get you on the path to #InstaFame, but if you can think of your own, add them in the comments section below!

 

#FollowUnfollow

What’s Your Ratio?

A trend as old as social media itself; the strategy of following an account in the hope of them following you back, (or at least liking a few of your photos) and then unfollowing them to keep your “ratio” (number of followers to followings) sweet. People are pretty divided on this issue; either you are someone abhorrently against it, or you pretend to be – whilst secretly tapping the follow button under the table.

We Get it

To be honest, it’s understandable. It really is. We’re living in a world where your popularity is measured by the number of people who follow you online – not the number of friends you actually see in a week or those who text you, rather than tweet you. So of course people will go to such time-consuming lengths to increase their number of followers.

False Inflation of Followers

Essentially, this whole practice degrades the point of social media and growing your online community. Real connections aren’t made on genuine interest for one’s posts – instead, connections are arbitrarily made based on who appears to be nice enough to follow you back as a gesture of goodwill for following them first. It’s true, the foundations of this strategy are sound – people are psychologically more inclined to help someone who has helped them. This inevitably results in false inflation of followers. As one chronic ‘Follow-unfollower’ grows their follower base, the people around them start to feel like they need to keep up. Sometimes it’s not so easy to gain a large amount of followers in a short amount of time (unless you have access to good lighting, a small bikini and lucky genes), so people resort to the cheap strategy of following an unfollowing to inflate their followers. The cycle goes on.

With the increase in apps which let you know when someone has unfollowed you, the social media community has become obsessed with this notion of reciprocal following and/or unfollowing. It’s a tit for tat game which no one can win.

So Let’s Start a Revolution

(Yeah, I said revolution). From now on when you get a new follower, check out their profile and only follow them back if you are genuinely interested in what they have to say/show. Also, if you find yourself looking at your follower number with the face you have whilst watching YouTube FAIL Compilations, remind yourself of why you started using social media in the first place. Was it to have a large number next to your name? Or was it to share your thoughts (and occasional cat selfie) with people following you, for you.

 

 

 

 

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