The impact of Instagram’s recent trend #nofilter is one we wanted to understand better, and talking to fashion and lifestyle digital content creator Himadri Patel was so helpful!

Filters – love them or hate them, you can’t avoid them. If you’re like Akshay Kumar from Koffee with Karan, then we’re talking about social media filters, the filters that enhance your pictures and make them look supposedly “beautiful” according to societal standards. Social media platforms are routinely criticized for adding filters because they set a high standard of beauty. Filters erase your acne and scars when we should normalize them. The wave of body positivity was fully against filters, and rightly so. Hence, social media platforms, especially the likes of Instagram and Snapchat, whose algorithms rely on photos, get a lot of hate for promoting filters. We should all feel free to look like we want to. We should not have the requirement to look a certain way. After all, everyone is beautiful in their own way.

However, people have a love-hate relationship with filters. As ethically wrong as they are, they still can be fun to use. Some people like to just have fun with funny filters like the dog one on Snapchat. Some don’t want to put in the effort of looking presentable; posting a photo using a filter solves the problem. If you don’t have a decent camera, your photo is bound to be of low quality. You can compensate for that by using filters. There are N number of reasons why filters are wanted as well as unnecessary.

Recently, we came across an Instagram user’s take on filters, which once again questioned the requirement for filters. We’re referring to the rise of #nofilter trend. Many content creators used the hashtag to denounce the use of filters. They announced that they love themselves and won’t live according to the ridiculous expectations of beauty in our society. Hence, to learn the impact of #nofilter, we spoke with Himadri Patel. A fashion and lifestyle digital content creator with close to 700K followers across social media platforms, Himadri’s content revolves around skin positivity, skincare, beauty, fashion, fitness, and more!

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Here’s what she had to say!

What does #nofilter mean to you?

“No filter means being able to be me unapologetically which is the greatest kind of beauty. #nofilter is being authentic and real.

What are the impacts of this trend on the audience, especially on women?

“Social media clearly sends the wrong message to women about how they should look. Creators who use filters and Photoshop to make their physique and complexion appear excessively flawless make the audience feel insecure about themselves. I’ve been there, I had a phase in my life when I was extremely conscious about my body looking a certain way, which led to me practicing unhealthy eating habits for weeks. It’s not just me, people all over the world, especially women, have been dealing with the issue of comparing themselves to pictures that are completely filtered. It undoubtedly has an impact on one’s mental health. Hence, #nofilter has had a significant impact on the audience. It has encouraged people to believe that no one is flawless and showcasing your flaws is the new ‘perfect’. This trend is all about embracing one’s flaws and increasing confidence.”

Since women have been at the forefront of the body positivity movement, do you think
that men hesitate to use or exclude themselves from this trend?

“Without a doubt, more men need to talk about body positivity. However, I have seen a few men create content centered on the idea that dressing up and putting on makeup isn’t about appearing handsome, but about accepting your likes and traits.”

How does the trend help you as a content creator?

“I get to be my authentic self. I don’t have to be concerned with always looking “perfect.” My audience likes me as I am and can relate to me much better.”

Even when one doesn’t put a filter, they might invest in better cameras, or apply heavy
makeup. Would you still call their pictures #nofilter?

“This may be displayed in two ways: Creators may invest in a high-quality camera to show their audience how actual cosmetics look on the skin. They may show them how textures or real skin looks with pores. There is no shame in having good equipment as long as it is used correctly. Applying makeup, on the other hand, is entirely up to the individual. If you’re doing makeup and letting your audience know about it, that’s perfectly OK. It’s deceptive when creators pretend they haven’t applied makeup after applying it and label their photos as #nofilter.”

What are the key things that one should keep in mind before jumping on this trend?

“Be genuine. Be comfortable in your own skin and body. It will show in the content you post.”