Taylor Swift wants you to know that you don’t need that Facetune app or Snapchat filter in your digital life.
Hours after the release of her highly-anticipated album, Lover, Swift performed an intimate set for a SiriusXM Hits 1 Town Hall Special in New York City, Billboard reports. She hosted a lively Q&A throughout the show, where she spoke directly to her newest generation of fans and offered some advice at their behest.
“I think kids now are facing such harder circumstances. The fact that the isolation and that rejection hits in real time, I can't begin to give you advice,” Swift said, per Billboard. “All I can do is empathize and say, ‘I see you, I see your struggles, I see how hard that is.’ It's harder than what I had to go through, so hang in there. I have no idea how you're doing it.’”
Swift continued, bringing to light the issue of body image and low self-esteem among young people, especially young women. She recognized how difficult it could be to overcome that.
“You don't need to look like a filter,” Swift said, reminding fans to practice self-love. “You’re great.”
As social media continues to shape our perception of the world around us, it also shapes our perception of ourselves. On the internet, we see (and create) altered or filtered images of people nearly every day, which leads to unrealistic expectations of what we can look like. Experts are calling this type of body dysmorphic disorder “Snapchat dysmorphia,” per CNN, and it’s having real-life effects, too. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, which measures trends in the field, found that 72% of facial plastic surgeons saw a rise in cosmetic surgery or injectables in patients under 30. In 2017, 55% of facial plastic surgeons reported seeing patients who wanted to get work done to improve how they looked in selfies.
Swift’s gentle suggestion to fans is a reminder to not let this feed our insecurities.
“Life is not a report card. You're not being graded on this moment to moment," Swift said. “Go easy on yourselves, kids. Be kind to yourselves.”