According to a recent study from City, University of London’s Gender and Sexualities Research Centre, ninety per cent of women report using a filter or editing their photos before posting online. Usually to even out their skin tone, reshape their jaw or nose, shave off weight, brighten or bronze their skin or whiten their teeth. Participants in the study also described regularly seeing advertisements or push notifications for cosmetic procedures — particularly for teeth whitening, lip fillers, and surgery to enhance face and body features.
Professor Gill commented about the study, saying, “With nearly 100 million photos posted every single day on Instagram alone, we have never been such a visually dominated society. Posting on social media can produce the intense pleasure of ‘getting likes’ and appreciative attention, but it is also a source of huge anxiety for most young women. I was struck by young women saying to me again and again: ‘I feel judged’.”
While the research involved 175 young women and nonbinary people in the UK, we believe the underlying feelings may well extend to both older people of both genders. This is an age group not nearly as comfortable with or necessarily as adept with the necessary computer tools to perform the digital retouching.