Have you been on the internet recently? Have you noticed all the good-looking people you can discover on Facebook and Instagram? Many have noticed and continue to do so. It can lead to what psychologists are now labeling Snapchat Dysmorphia.
Snapchat Dysmorphia is what happens when we see the beautiful people on the internet and wind up losing our self-esteem. We began to feel inadequate. We look at our faces and bodies in a mirror in the real world and what we see in the glass doesn’t measure up to what we see on the computer screen. Psychologists warn us this can spiral down into a serious disorder.
Here are two pieces of advice. First, don’t trust what you see on the computer screen. As a student of Photoshop and digital photography I can share what I’ve learned from several sources about portrait photography. After you take the picture, go into the computer and remove a few wrinkles from the face. Don’t remove them all because then the picture will look unrealistic. People don’t want that. But if you remove a few and if you soften the picture a little, people will consider you a good photographer.
And you don’t need to master Photoshop to edit your face. If you’re submitting your own photo into the digital world just search the App store. You’ll find help from such apps as Fotogenic: Photo Editor, Prettifier, and the $30 InstaBeauty Pro. And such editing isn’t reserved for the internet. One source noted that plastic surgery increased 13% from 2016 to 2017.
So don’t let what you see make you feel inadequate. Don’t trust what you see on the computer and even in real life.
Second, concentrate on your inner beauty, not your outer beauty.
Peter writes in the Bible that our beauty should not be the result of wearing the right clothes or of having enough bling. He says in I Peter 3:4 “Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” And, yes, he is writing to a specific group of wives because of the culture he was dealing with, but everyone agrees that the advice applies equally well to men as well as to women. Forget the bling; work on the spirit.
The only beauty of great worth is one’s inner beauty. God looks at the inside, not the outside. And the people whose opinions matter to you should be those individuals who do the same. It’s time to heal from Snapchat Dysmorphia and start concentrating on the only beauty that will truly last. Let’s face it: Our entire life we will grow wrinkles and Photoshop and plastic surgery can only take us so far. But our entire life we can also grow on the inside. It’s time to rediscover a deep truth: Living a better life is what those who matter will call beautiful.
Rick Cupp is minister at Kenai Fellowship. Sunday Bible classes for all ages 10 a.m. Worship 11:15 p.m. Wednesday meal 6:15 p.m. Worship and classes at 7 p.m. Call 283-7682.