Is FaceTune The New Photoshop?

July 6, 2018  |  

A young Black woman texting on her mobile phone.

I have a friend who refuses to post images of herself on the ‘gram without Facetuning it first. It bothers me and, honestly, makes me cringe, but I also don’t like judging my friends. We all have our own insecurities and we all must do whatever we can to have as positive a self-image as we can. If that means little tweaks here and there, from longer lashes to new hairstyles to weight loss to cosmetic surgery, then so be it. I’m a firm believer that women deserve to feel sexy and beautiful on their own terms. But that expression of self, especially in the Instagram world we live in, can get tricky.

FaceTune is an app that, as the NY Times described it, “helps you look your Hollywood best.” What that means is you can smooth your skin, whiten your teeth, erase blemishes, and put forth an image of flawless perfection on social media with a few swipes of the finger. It’s essentially Photoshop for the everyday individual looking to enhance his or her selfies, and because we’re obsessed with our image — literally and digitally — FaceTune was Apple’s most popular paid app of 2017.

I get it. We all want to put our best selves forward. We want to showcase the version of ourselves that we’re proudest of to the world. But what happens when that image, posted on a platform that was created to be an “authentic” representation of ourselves and all about connecting, becomes just as distorted by our own hands?

We cried for magazines to stop using photoshop and making celebs look a way that the average woman never would. However, there’s something intriguing about the fact that many of us are filling in the shoes of editors, creative directors, casting agents, and whomever else in power found something “wrong” with us and sold us a bill of ways to fix it. We’re taking it upon ourselves to “correct” the same insecurities we cried aloud for mainstream media to stop preying upon.

I’ve honestly met some men and women who distorted their faces and bodies so much on Instagram that they look completely different in person. And that’s scary to me. Thankfully, there are some who are using the tool to show the difference between “real” and photoshopped bodies to help their followers understand that no body is perfect. But the sentiment of loving yourself as you are never seems to last too long after liking the pic and scrolling on to the next image of unattainable perfection.

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I'm gonna be honest, this was actually really hard to post and I'm not really sure what I'm trying to achieve by posting it. Pre edit, I had written a long bad ass caption about how nothing is real blah blah. I've edited a couple of pics in the past but not posted them, however after editing this image I just felt so heart broken that I don't look like the version of me on the right bc I know it's physically possible for me to look like the version on the right. I have done, it wasn't healthy at all but I have done. That's the real issue I've always had, like we always get told "no one really looks like that etc etc, even the girls in the photos don't look like that", however it's different when not only do you see these girls in real life all the fucking time, and they do look like that, but also you have looked like that in the past? Every time I fail at anything, the little voice at the back of my head becomes louder with that constant rhetoric of "if you were thinner this would never have happened. so just do it, just lose it all again, don't be so weak, you've done it before". I guess, I'm sceptical of how many people regularly edit their images and even how much corporations do it, and so it's sometimes hard to believe a lot of body posi messages which makes trying to believe my body is great is a lil harder. The body positivity movement is amazing, but sometimes it's too positive for me. The constant happiness of the body posi instas make me sometimes feel like my journey isn't good enough, and that that little voice that's there should be gone completely. I just wanna say emotions are not constant, it's super damaging to think otherwise. Our obsession with happiness is so superficial and really can impact our mental health. So here's to every bad day, and everything we learn from it. Every time I do something horribly uncomfortable where I would rather curl up and not exist than do it, I learn something. I guess that's what I'm trying to achieve, posting this image isn't the end of the world and yeah, I do feel shit about it right now, but I'm learning from it. I'm sorry for the ramble, it's stupid but it's nice to get things of ya chest sometimes

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Who doesn’t like to nip and tuck a bit before posting a photo? If most of us could get a nip and tuck to look snatched every time we leave the house in real life I’m sure we’d do that too. I get it, trust me. I just hope we don’t get a point where we can never show up to the social media party as our true selves, comfortably. But FaceTune seems to be leading us down that path.

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