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Snapchat filters create unrealistic—and problematic—beauty standards. By Aline Peres Martins

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I remember the day the “beauty” filter came out on Snapchat—the one that ever-

surpassed Twitter in daily usage. Snapchat users collectively watch over 10 billion

so-slightly retouches skin, narrows noses, and gives doe eyes. The filter just barely changed my appearance, but changed it enough for me to notice that I looked “better.” As I sat with some of my coworkers on lunch break, the females picked up their phones and tried the filter as well—sending out a combination of thirst traps and cute, funny selfies. But my male coworkers were unfazed. It was so hard to spot the changes, and after a while it felt normal to have the filter on. Gone were the days of using Snapchat to send ugly selfies. Now, we slave over the perfect, beautified selfie to post on our stories. But there’s something inherently troubling about normalizing this slightly retoutched reality. Snapchat is

videos per day—more than three times the amount in 2015—and is the most used social media platform among 12-24 year olds. According to the latest figures reported by The Wall Street Journal, about 70 percent of users are female. We don’t know if Snapchat filters like these were created with women in mind, but it’s hard to think otherwise. What facts do show, however, is that the people in the upper ranks of Snapchat are overwhelmingly male. In 2016, Business Insider published a list of the most influential people working at Snapchat, and of the 24 people on the list, only three were women. Furthermore, only three were people of color—and just one of the non-white executives was a woman. At press time, Snapchat is a closed-off

moving away from a silly photo app—its once-prized intimate, instantaneous nature morphed into yet another way for people to project their best lives. This is troubling, considering the ever-present, sometimes

company that does not publicly disclose employee information, lists like this are the best we can work with until it goes public. The gender and race disparity can be troubling, considering the majority of Snapchat users

racist, or gender-exclusive filters we use to alter our appearances. Snapchat's growth over the past

are female and many of them are using the “pretty filter,” reinforcing female beauty standards every time they snap a wide-eyed

few years has been extraordinary. Over 150 million people use Snapchat a day, according to Bloomberg. This past June, it

and contour-cheeked selfie. While these filters have become almost second nature to me, it seems that they


Jerk March 2017  
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