Lili Reinhart reminds us of the very real dangers of using body-editing apps

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Jessica Rapana
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The Riverdale actress perfectly summed up the problem with body-editing apps, warning they are responsible for people’s “unrealistic expectations”.

Lili Reinhart is not here for body-editing apps – or the people who use them.

After stumbling across one such app by accident, the Riverdale actor took to Instagram to call out the worrying trend for its role in perpetuating “unrealistic standards”.

“This is not okay,” she wrote, warning: “this is why people develop eating disorders. This is why social media has become hazardous to our health. This is why people have unrealistic expectations of their bodies.”

The 23-year-old continued, imploring her followers not to use these kinds of apps, saying those who do were “part of the problem”. “This is how unrealistic standards of human bodies have been created – to the point where people alter their bodies surgically to achieve unattainable results.”

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While Reinhart sympathised with those who might feel like their bodies “aren’t good enough”, she pointed out, “looking skinnier” was not worth the detrimental psychological effects that these apps have given our generation.”

“People who use these apps and alter their bodies are clearly suffering from low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, or other mental health problems,” she said, warning that validating this behaviour would encourage them to feel like “the only way they will be accepted is if they keep altering themselves”.

While some apps have been taking steps to improve users’ mental health – Instagram, for instance, is removing likes, blocking irresponsible weight loss content and rolling back plastic surgery effects – as Reinhart points out, we clearly have a long way to go. 

A 2018 study found that face filters on apps were leading to a phenomenon called “Snapchat dysmorphia”, where patients were seeking surgery “to help them appear like the filtered versions of themselves”.

For Reinhart, this is an issue close to home. She has previously spoken out about her own body dysmorphia issues – and blasted critics who say she can’t embrace body positivity because of her shape.

“Feeling really disheartened by the fact that so many people are saying “you’re skinny so shut up about embracing your body’,” she said on Twitter.

“As if my body dysmorphia is irrelevant because of how I look to some people. I’m either not curvy enough or not skinny enough to feel insecure.”

On body-editing apps, she pleaded with fans to cut themselves some slack on social media, saying: “Once you alleviate yourself of the pressure to conform to FAKE/UNREAL standards… the world is a lot brighter.

“I promise you.”

Image: Getty


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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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