By Mollie Mansfield
A teenager is speaking out about how her addiction to Snapchat filters left her bed bound – because she couldn’t bear to look at herself without one.
After downloading the Snapchat app on 22 February last year, Maisie Hazelwood, 19, found herself taking selfies more often than usual – applying all sorts of ‘attractive’ filters to herself to improve her pictures.
However, after eight months of using the app, it began to stop working on her phone, meaning Maisie was left unable to take her usually filtered photos.
The student felt that she was unable to look at herself without a filter, as she hated what she saw – so much so, that she became BED BOUND and unable to look in a mirror.
Maisie, from Maidstone, Kent, has since deleted the face-filtering app and is now learning to love her appearance again, after becoming so addicted to Snapchat that she couldn’t recognise her face without a filter.
Maisie said: “I downloaded the app for the filters – it meant that I could take selfies when I had no make-up on as they would make me look prettier.
“My favourite filter was one that gave me longer eyelashes and a nose piercing, which made my face look absolutely flawless – any spot or blemish I had would disappear.
“But then I fell in love with how it made me look, and it took me away from the reality of my own looks.
“I stopped wearing make-up completely and became bed bound because I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror because I hated what I saw.
“I completely shut myself out and wouldn’t let anyone see me, as I thought people would laugh at me for being such an ugly person in comparison to what they saw on Snapchat.”
When Maisie downloaded the app last year, she started off by just taking the odd selfie to post on her social media feeds – but as time went on, her addiction to the app became dangerous.
She said: “The app was perfect for me to just take one quick selfie before leaving the house, as the filters would always fix anything that I didn’t like about my face.
“The fact I couldn’t get myself out of bed some days because I was so petrified to see myself without a filter was something I didn’t expect could happen from an app.
“I also didn’t notice how reliant I was on the app until my family asked me to send them recent photos of myself, and I had no photos of me without filters on.
“At this point, I hadn’t taken a photo without a filter on in almost a year, so it really opened my eyes to the fact I needed to kick the addiction.”
In order to regain control over her life, and stop herself from being controlled by the filters in the app, Maisie deleted it and forced herself to just use the normal camera on her phone.
She said: “My confidence was solely online in these pretty filtered photos – and I had no confidence in real life – not even enough to look at myself in the mirror.
“So I forced myself to delete the app as I stopped using it for the social reason and solely just used it for the filters.
“After deleting it I felt a great sense of relief and, even though it took a while, I was slowly able to go outside again and accept what I looked like in the mirror.
“Now any time I take a selfie I make sure it’s on the normal camera without a filter and – even though it takes me about 200 takes to find a perfect one – I get there in the end.
“I want people to know not to let their natural beauty get lost in a world of filters.”
Snap said that helping its community to communicate is a top priority.
The company pointed out that they introduced AR Lenses as a way to make people feel more comfortable talking to the camera to make it more stress-free.