Instagram Bans Plastic Surgery Filters

Instagram Bans Plastic Surgery Filters

In recent months Instagram's Effect gallery has seen a slew of face filters that make you look like an influencer. Which is to say, they offer an augmented reality picture of what you'd look like with those exaggeratedly pouty lips, narrow nose and sky-high cheekbones that every girl on the gram over 15 million followers inexplicably seems to have.

The company behind Instagram's AR filters, Spark AR, has officially announced in a Facebook post titled "Update on Well-Being Policies," that they'll ban filters that resemble plastic surgery body modifications for ethical reasons.

"We want Spark AR effects to be a positive experience and are re-evaluating our existing policies as they relate to well-being," the company said.

They'll be removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Effect Gallery, postponing approval of any new plastic surgery filters, and continuing to hunt down and weed out any other dysmorphic filters. The decision is in the hopes of maintaining a "healthy AR ecosystem for creators and our entire community."

This update is well-informed. Huffington Postrecently did a report gathering data about how bad staring at FaceTuned versions of ourselves and others — as well as IRL-tuned faces and bodies — really is for us. Specifically, how bad it is our mental health and how likely it is to push people towards plastic surgery.

Of course, filters are just one aspect of the internet that's caused us to literally forget what a human face looks like. We don't need data to know that the influencers these filters are based on have helped normalize cosmetic surgery like nose jobs and soft tissue lip fillers in recent years.

Leading cosmetic physician Dr Frances Prenna Jones recently told Elle, "Women of all ages enter my clinic for cosmetic lip treatments; half want a "natural" aesthetic, while the other half still ask for a 'Kylie Jenner' look."

There's been an increase of 50% in lip augmentations for 18 to 55-plus-year-olds between 2000 and 2016 according to a 2016 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Overall, American yearly spending on plastic surgery has gone up four percent just since 2017, now clocking in $16.5 billion, a report showed.

There are still a million ways to make yourself look like a Kardashian online, but Spark AR is doing their part to make us all a little less dysmorphic.

Photo via Getty