In the final year of my degree I wrote a 5,500 word dissertation, researching the potential harmful impacts on Instagram's filter feature on the body image of young women. In order to encapsulate the findings of this study, an Art book was been created to accompany the writing called Filter Fantasy. Filter Fantasy visually communicates the data collected and explores the concept of face-altering Instagram filters and their relationship with cosmetic procedure culture.
In 2019, the image orientated social networking site called ‘Instagram’ introduced a new face-altering filter feature to their application. This study investigated the impact of said filters on young women’s desire to undergo elective cosmetic surgery. Relevant literature alludes to a conceivable link between usage of these filters and elective cosmetic surgery desire. However, there is a limit to how much can be inferred from these studies and reports due to the absence of research into this phenomenon. Therefore, an online survey was conducted using a sample of 110 women between the ages of 18-28, hypothesising that an indirect relationship between face-altering filter usage and cosmetic surgery desire would be mediated by increased facial dissatisfaction. The results showed that there is a positive correlation, determined by a spearman’s rank-order test, between these two variables, among the sample. It is then discussed that the observed predictors of cosmetic surgery desire and theories behind this, can be applied to the concept of face-altering filters. This is further supported by the findings of the present study, concluding that face-altering Instagram filters have the potential to be the next step of encouragement in terms of cosmetic surgery desire among young women.