Instagram has a nascent black market for beauty filters.
Last month, Spark AR, the company behind Instagram's augmented reality facial filters, announced that it would be removing all plastic surgery-related masks. This news comes after a surge in the use of Theresa Fogolari's "Plastic" and Daniel Mooney's "Fix Me" filters, which show the effects of plastic surgery and have gone viral.

There is growing evidence that Instagram use leads to mental health issues and body dysmorphia. A recent psychological study found that girls and women are more likely to want a cosmetic procedure if they spend a lot of time on social media.

However, many users are unhappy with the ban, advocating for the free choice to use these filters or pointing out the irony of banning cosmetic surgery filters on a platform that is filled with influencers and celebrities who have gone under the knife more than once.

When Andrew Foxall, creative director of London's Foxall Studio, heard about the ban, he and his team quickly created a "Rhinoplasty" filter and submitted it to Instagram, even though they knew it would be rejected.

"Our filter is cruel in the sense that it reveals the consequences in the short term and shows the pain a person has gone through. But when you realize that plastic surgery is his own desire, everything falls into place," Andrew commented for Dazed Beauty.

He now uses a secret link to spread the filter to those who wish to use a product from the "black market," that is, unapproved by Instagram's new policy. But do users really need filters so badly that they're willing to seek out banned masks and use unperverted links? It turns out they are. After all, this is how they feel more confident in the new digital world. This is especially true for teenagers, for whom filters have become an alternative to cosmetics and a means by which they have fallen in love with their, albeit not quite real, appearance. It seems that the "Rhinoplasty" filter is just the beginning of the "black market" on Instagram, and users will continue to fight for their right to use the masks they wish. In addition, the new policy of the social platform does not care in any way about how users are influenced by influencers with numerous plastics and millions of followers.
May 21, 2024