By Jamie Lindsey
In the early days of Instagram, everyone was obsessed with using the filter features the social media network had created. Users could now filter their photos with extra layers of colors or in black and white to make our pictures look more “picturesque.” Once Snapchat hit the scene with funny filters such as the puppy face or the old lady face, the filtering features became even more popular. You couldn’t log onto Facebook without seeing someone as a puppy dog used in their profile picture.
However, it seems like nowadays, people are becoming way more critical of others when they use filters. “That obviously makes them look younger,” or “They definitely used a filter on that picture!” are the comments I seem to read the most. Recently, my beautiful and charismatic dog, Sharlotte, won the Mutt Mania contest that was hosted by Zimmer Radio Group. She won the cutest dog in the Four-States! When they a picture during the contest, showing my dog’s photo and saying that she was in the lead, there was almost an IMMEDIATE comment from a lady saying, “The photographer obviously used a filter.” My reply was, “Um, no I didn’t. But isn’t she gorgeous?” Those comments were followed up by other people who assumed I had used a filter, when I had not (I guess I just took a really good picture?) This interaction made me a little irritated, mostly at the fact that I don’t see why people care so much if others use filters. The lady didn’t go through the other pictures of the dogs and call out all the other users for actually using filters. It made me a little peeved at the hypocrisy.
Filters are used every day, by a large majority of those who use social media. Which leads me to the burning question: WHY do people care so much?
Most comments talk about how it makes animals or people “look younger” than they
actually are. This is where most people are missing the biggest argument of all: so do a lot of other products! The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that has for decades provided consumers with products that have helped people find their identity. Face creams, hair dye, makeup, clothing, lotions, vitamins, etc. are all made to help someone look or feel younger. Yet, I have never seen anyone go up to an old lady in public and tell them that they shouldn’t dye their hair because its false advertising compared to their real age. I have yet to hear someone shout at another person because they use face cream to get rid of wrinkles. The fact that some people have the nerve to get in other people’s business on social media sites is what is so blatantly irritating.
First of all, if you don’t have the critical thinking skills to know that people weren’t born with dog ears, gold eyelids, or purple hair, please just stay off the internet. If you get offended when someone uses a different filter to highlight colors in their picture to make it more attractive, please leave them alone. We are not here to please you or your visual aesthetic.
Women, men, boys, and girls are allowed to use filters, wear makeup, and color their hair or anything else to make them look the way they want to look and make themselves happy. No one is doing it as a personal affront to you.
This contributes to the overall argument of allowing others to live their life as they see fit. Wearing makeup does not mean someone is fake. It doesn’t mean they have low self-esteem, either. It literally translates to the fact that they want to wear makeup. People can change their looks any way they want. If others can’t look through the filter to the real person, then their thoughts, opinions, and comments do not matter.
Let us live our lives, let us filter our pictures, let us post our food to Instagram, and let us be US. Others need to quit being so judgmental about every little thing another person does. This is only dividing society further and if we can just accept people’s differences, their quirks, their characteristics and personalities, the world will be a much better place.