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Katie Couric Calls Attention To Snapchat Dysmorphia By Posting A Filter and Makeup-Free Selfie

“They say it is having a negative impact on self-esteem.”

Photo by Joella Marano/Flickr

The age of mass media dealt a blow to many people’s self-esteem as they began seeing stylized versions of actors and models in films, print, and television. The presentation of flawless, edited images of people created unattainable beauty standards damaging to people’s self-esteem, especially that of young women.


Now, in the age of the selfie, a new disorder has emerged: Snapchat dysmorphia. People are suffering from low self-esteem because they want their appearance to mirror their selfies. Photo filters like Facetune or those found on Snapchat and Instagram allow people to trim their waistlines, sculpt their facial features, and alter their complexions. So now, when they look in the mirror, they’re disappointed in their actual selves.

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via GIPHY

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently reported on the phenomenon.

“The pervasiveness of these filtered images can take a toll on one’s self-esteem, make one feel inadequate for not looking a certain way in the real world, and may even act as a trigger and lead to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD),” the report said.

People with Snapchat dysmorphia are seeking help for the disorder, but it’s not from a psychologist. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, in 2017, 55% of surgeons reported seeing patients who wanted procedures to improve how they looked in selfies, versus 42% in 2016.

To push back against the damaging effects of selfie filters and call attention to the JAMA report, journalist Katie Couric posted a selfie on Instagram without any filters or makeup. She also had a sore throat and felt miserable.

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“An article in the latest issue of JAMA says plastic surgeons are increasingly getting requests to make people look as good as they do in their selfies after they edit them,” Couric wrote on her post. “Researchers call it ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ and they say it is having a negative impact on self-esteem and can even trigger body dysmorphic disorder, which is classified as a mental illness. Clearly, I am bucking that trend. I also have a terrible sore throat. #happymonday.”

Couric’s photo was a fun way to call attention to Snapchat dysmorphia and a brave move for a woman in the spotlight. Perhaps if more people posted real photos of themselves like Couric, we could slow down the ever-increasing expectation for everyone to look perfect online.

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Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

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Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

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In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

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Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

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