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.
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"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 Post recently did a report gathering data about how staring at FaceTuned versions of ourselves and others — as well as IRL-tuned faces and bodies — is really bad for us! Specifically, it's bad for our mental health and drives people towards plastic surgery.
Of course, filters are just one drop in the shit-storm of internet culture 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 allow us to look like have contributed to the normalization of 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.
That 50% statistic is over a decade. But overall American spending ($16.5 billion) on plastic surgery has gone up four percent just since 2017, a report showed.
There are still a million ways to make yourself look like a Kardashian online, but good for Spark AR for doing their part to make us all a little less dysmorphic.
Photo via Getty