Sasha Pallari asked women to share pictures of themselves with no makeup and no filter to show the extent to which these filters change their faces.
External appearances have become everything, living in a visually stimulated social media world. Having the right-sized body, flawless skin, and other subjectively unrealistic expectations that society has for us, especially women, are now being made achievable by using filters. A simple swipe through the Instagram or Snapchat camera lays down hundreds of beauty filter options that can make you look like different versions of yourself. It started off as a fun overlay on your image with dog and cat ears to completely changing the structure of your face to give it the "ideal" makeover. The inherent damage this causes is already being felt by young people.
These filtered images blur the line of reality and fantasy and could be triggering body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a mental health condition where people become fixated on imagined defects in their appearance, reported The Guardian. While this has been a cause of worry to many, it was also something make-up artist and curve model Sasha Pallari felt passionate about. It all started when she noticed a global beauty brand reposting filtered content from an influencer advertising its products. She decided to call them out by messaging them directly and shared her thoughts on Instagram as well.
In the Instagram post, she wrote: The brand shouldn’t be happy for their products to be advertised this way and for them to be described as ‘natural-looking on the skin’ whilst those filters are applied. This behavior, addiction and constant craving to BE beautiful are feeding into the insecurities of future generations and the damage is worrying. She then launched the #FilterDrop campaign asking people to share pictures of themselves with and without the beauty filters to show the extent, these filters change our faces. It was an empowering movement that helped many girls and women come to terms with their natural skin.
And this is was the response she got:
"My passion was always make-up and now it's about empowering people to recognize who they are as opposed to what they look like," Pillari told Grazia, "It has never felt natural to me to use filters. With me, what you see is what you get." After the initial success of her campaign, she posted a video thanking the women who posted their makeup-less selfies stepping out of their comfort zones to support her cause to stop the damaging practice of using filters that so drastically change our faces. She is now all set to make institutional changes to the problem.
Pillari has contacted the Advertising Standard's Authority (ASA) in the UK with her concerns about influencers using filters to promote beauty products. After months of mailing back and forth with the authority, she has finally managed to get a positive outcome. "The ASA has finally advised that influencers, brands, and celebrities should not be using filters on social media when promoting beauty products if the filter is likely to exaggerate the effect that the products are capable of achieving," she explained.
She further wrote in an update on Instagram: Going forward this means that every single time somebody promotes a skincare or beauty product online, we have the highest chance of seeing real skin, real texture, real nose shapes, different lip sizes, the true product color. The number of people that will no longer compare themselves to an advert that isn’t achievable without a filter is going to be prolific. We did it. I’m so proud.
Pallari has also helped people in real life to accept themselves for who they are. She told Vogue about a 15-year-old girl who thanked her for being an inspiration. “She mentioned that she no longer wakes up two hours before school to do her make-up," she recalled. "She still enjoys make-up but it’s for enjoyment rather than hiding and covering her face, which is just amazing.”