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Going filter-free for mental health awareness


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When I first heard about Hopper’s first #RealMeDay, encouraging their users to go filter free in order to raise awareness for mental health, I thought it was a great idea and that I’d kick start the article with my own filter free selfie.

But 100 photos later and questionable glances from onlookers, I still wasn’t happy with the picture and was kind of missing the point of the campaign.

Like many young people my age when faced with putting a selfie on Instagram, I went through the photo with thousands of negative thoughts rushing through my head “My hair looks too flat”, “my teeth aren’t white enough”, “does my face look odd at this angle?”

Then it clicked! I was more concerned with what I perceived other people would think about the way I looked, rather than having confidence in the way I look; the result of low self-esteem and low self-confidence, that in part, largely stems from social media sites such as Instagram.

Every day we all scroll through our Instagram, liking images of funny dogs, our friend’s trip to Spain and weird food videos but it’s not just these fun pictures we’re exposed to. Countless selfies, bikini shots, and fashion campaigns are constantly on display; the people in these pictures all look great and they’re celebrating the way they look, as we all should!

But with this celebration of physical looks comes a darker side in the form of a rise in mental health and cyber bullying. Pressure to look like the people online encourages low self-esteem and low self-confidence and a rise in cyber bullying because people don’t fit the conventional look splayed across Instagram. Young people are altering the way they appear on social media with filters in order to fit in or trying to increase their self-esteem with more likes, but this isn’t representative of anyone’s true amazing self!

The consequences of low self-worth or cyber bullying can be devastating and something has to be done in order to combat this unhealthy body image.

This is where Hopper comes in. Today, the Instagram scheduling site is launching their first #RealMeDay encouraging people to show their ‘true’ selves and raise awareness of the link between mental health and social media, by going filter free, supported by The Mental Health Foundation. This initiative aims to promote a healthy body image, prove that no one has a perfect life and inspire self-confidence!

Hopper is an Instagram scheduling site, which enables social media users, brands and influencers to schedule posts up to years in advance, as well as edit and upload up to 50 images at one time, saving loads of precious time!

The co-founder of Hopper, Mike Bandar, has explained the importance of this filter free day: “Mental health is something that can affect all of us at any stage of our lives and it’s important for us to raise awareness on this issue, especially if it’s being increased through social media use.

“Users also need to remember not to measure self-worth or life on other people’s social media accounts – not everything on Instagram is real, everyone has problems in their own lives, but it’s unlikely that they’re going to post about that! By going ‘filter-free’, we’re encouraging people to own their imperfections and be proud of who they are.”

Hopper has turned off its filters for today and has also launched a pledge page where you can sign up and pledge to go filter free.

You can also use the #RealMeDay on Instagram and post your own filter free selfie.

I’ve included mine below and whilst I’m not 100% happy with it, this is the real me and I’m slowly realising that she’s actually pretty great without a filter! 

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