Plastic Surgery Filters Ban: Denver Rethinking “Instagram Face,” Kim & Khloe Kardashian’s Toy

instagram plastic surgery filter banned

Plastic surgery themed filter effects will no longer be available as a result of new well-being policies, says Spark AR, the open platform responsible for all of the filter effects uploaded to both Instagram and Facebook. 

Officially announced in its Facebook group, the company elaborated:

 “We want Spark AR effects to be a positive experience and are re-evaluating our existing policies as they relate to well-being. While this happens, we’re doing the following:

  • Removing all effects associated with plastic surgery from the Instagram Effect Gallery
  • Postponing approval of new effects associated with plastic surgery until further notice
  • Continuing to remove policy-violating effects as they are identified.” 

Posted on October 18, the announcement garnered criticism and praise from both filter designers and users. 

For the past few years, filter effects designed to help users achieve the ultimate ‘Instagram Face’ have exploded. The exaggerated cheekbones and enlarged lips have been made popular by famous influencers on Instagram such as Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian. 

This new look has even driven some users to want to make permanent changes to their faces with plastic surgery. Instagram has been heavily criticised for this, which is likely the reason why they think plastic surgery filters on the platform are a step too far. How does this developing trend affect real, practicing surgeons in the real world though? The best plastic surgeon Denver ranks atop its doctor lists, should be aware of the fact that ‘Instagram Face’ is just a fad, while also being cautious with patients under the age of 18. 

What is the ‘Instagram Face’?

Those who haven’t heard of the ‘Instagram Face’ before need to only think of one word: Kardashians. 

Championed by the Kardashian’s iconic makeup artist, Joyce Bonelli, the ‘Instagram Face’ is characterized as an overly contoured nose and cheek bones, perfectly painted on eyebrows, and thick layers of matte foundation tasked with eliminating all flaws on the skin. It can sometimes take up to 25 makeup products to achieve the look, and people are obsessed with making sure their selfies reflect this aesthetic. 

The look is primarily only used for Instagram, with one makeup artist advising a client, “you’re going to find it difficult to wear outside, in daylight” – implying that the makeup is really only good for one thing: selfies. Some people also use the help of face filter effects and the Facetune app to achieve this look; often becoming so consumed with looking like a perfect selfie in real life that they turn to more permanent solutions like plastic surgery. 

Patients now using phones and filters during consultations with the best plastic surgeon Denver 

It is estimated that on average, a millennial will take “over 25,000 selfies in his or her lifetime”. An overwhelming majority of these selfies use filters that augment the way they actually look, which has contributed to an “increased interest for cosmetic medicine and cosmetic surgery”. 

Plastic surgeons are feeling this pressure. One doctor even said, “In the past, patients would come in with a Playboy magazine…now they bring in their phones and show the accounts of people they follow on social media.” 

This is confirmed by a recent study by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, which found over 40% of surgeons surveyed claimed, “looking better in selfies on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook was an incentive for patients of all ages getting surgery”. 

However, researchers warn that this issue may actually be magnified for younger individuals who are likely to use social media more frequently. 

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should: How doctors should navigate this new trend responsibly

It’s clear that the desire among people to surgically alter their faces to look like their selfies is on the rise – and the best plastic surgeon Denver has will need to be aware of these trends to ensure patients make the right decisions for themselves. 

One piece of advice for practicing surgeons is to make sure that patients understand that the popular looks on Instagram won’t last forever. Think about bell bottoms, shoulder pads, and teased bangs – looks can go out of style just as quick as they came. Doctors should make sure that patients make their decisions based on their entire lives, not on what’s “on trend”. 

Additionally, given the spike in demand among children as young as 14 for plastic surgery, surgeons should be prepared to deal with these requests from young people. One plastic surgeon, Debra Johnson, recommends having an honest discussion with the teen; making sure that they understand how the surgery will impact them for the rest of their lives and how their bodies will likely change over time. Johnson also recommends having children at least partially pay for the procedure. Other doctors recommend turning patients under the age of 18 away completely, in order to reduce the number of people who potentially change their mind or regret their decision later on into their adult life.