Snapchat's beauty filters have become a prominent force in the social media realm. It's vital in understanding the impact in how Snapchat's beauty filters shape beauty standards among young women. This became the primary motivation of conducting this qualitative study. Six focus groups were conducted to explore the depths of why female college students between the ages of 18-25 decide to post either selfies with Snapchat's beauty filters applied or natural images. Dialectical tensions theory was used as the foundation for this study to explore both the internal and external discursive struggles young women face when deciding to post natural or filtered selfies on their social media accounts. Integrating impression management, self-objectification, and self-esteem as components of understanding this phenomenon and using a thematic analysis to uncover prevalent and reoccurring themes discussed in the focus groups yielded remarkable results. Themes of perceptions of attractiveness, presenting a facade, and the power of self-esteem highlighted possible reasons why women were attracted in utilizing Snapchat's beauty filters or posting natural images. Findings also showed how the internal struggles between perfectionism-reality and external struggles of fitting in-standing out from the crowd became tensions women were often plagued in decision making to post natural or filtered images. This study serves as an epitome for beauty standards imposed in social media especially in HVSM (highly visual social media) sites like Snapchat and Instagram. There's limited research on Snapchat filters and the implications it has on females' overall perceptions of themselves of whether to implement filters within their photos. Understanding the reasons why women feel the need to use beauty filters or post natural selfies through a discussion-based setting embarked discoveries of how the media and society should integrate new sets of beauty standards.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
Communication; Mass Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Cruz, Angelina, "Let's Take a Selfie! Living in a Snapchat Beauty Filtered World:The Impact it Has on Women's Beauty Perceptions" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6471.