What you need to know:

  • Are people obsessed with using filters? Gulf News readers debate.

Whether they add dog ears, fluttery eyelashes or a rosy tint to one’s lips, photo filters are taking over online platforms.

Some people can’t share an image without using one. Are photo filters getting out of hand? Gulf News readers debate.

Don’t rely too much on photo filters

To be honest, I tend to use filters quite a lot, but I don’t take it to the extreme.

I like how it gives a nice smooth look when my make-up is almost gone or when I am looking a little pale.

With that being said, I try my best not to take it to the extreme. There are enough crazy high standards for women to look flawless all the time, so I try my best to balance it out and post pictures of myself without make-up and filters as well. I even tend to post pictures with masks on or zit cream on to help show that it’s normal to have bad days, too.

There’s enough negative body image going on around so I don’t like being one of those girls who have to look perfect all the time. It’s tiring and quiet honestly, very mentally exhausting as well.

Imagine seeing everyone you know with amazing flawless skin not knowing it’s been edited or has a filter on. It can really affect one’s self-esteem and confidence.

From Maha Ali

Accounting student based in Dubai


Negative body image can affect mental wellbeing

A filter in itself is not detrimental, some of them are actually quiet amusing and entertaining for people.

However, for some individuals, especially adolescents and young people who have not developed a good strong sense of self, pictures and ‘likes’ have become a measure of their self-worth — and that is when filters and image perfecting apps can lead to insecurity, feelings of hopelessness, and feelings of low self-worth.

They compare themselves to their “perfected peers”, which really affects the way they feel about their own features and body. Not everyone’s self-image will be affected by these apps. However, there are many individuals, mostly women, who are struggling with emotional difficulties as it is, and could develop clinically significant symptoms of negative body image, depression, and low self-esteem.

In the past we used to have models being Photoshopped and comparing ourselves to them, now we are comparing ourselves to our own Photoshopped image, so it is no surprise we are less satisfied with the image in the mirror.

From Dr Saliha Afridi

Clinical psychologist based in Dubai

Obsession with filters can impact self-confidence

It has become a common practice for millennials to use filters on pictures online to alter one’s features. This could sometimes be a pathological response to repeated intrusive thoughts. This may give them short-term mental satisfaction and well-being. However, it may indicate an underlying response to low self-image and self-confidence issues. In my opinion this is extremely harmful to one’s mental health.

Depending on such filters leads to loss of reality, creating an expectation that one must be perfect at all times. However, this leads to a gap between the real and virtual image. It poses huge risks and consequences regarding one’s mental health and can fuel self-image, self-esteem and confidence issues. Doctors and relatives of individuals need to be aware of these effects. For example, at a plastic surgery appointment it is important to know if somebody is coming for the surgery for the right reason. In my opinion it is important to have a psychiatric assessment to rule out the underlying mental health issues.

From Dr Shankar Srinivas Kuchibatla

Consultant psychiatrist based in Dubai


Gulf News asked: Are photo filters feeding our want to attain a flawless look?

Yes - 70%

No - 30%