Facetune is an app that has made the deceptive digital modification, not just a tool used by magazine editors.
It’s given the power of ‘perfection’ to the people. Now it is used by EVERYONE from your favourite beauty Gurus and social media influencers to the girl next door. Facetune’s accessibility has allowed everyone with an iPhone to digitally chop and change their appearance. But at what cost?
I have a confession.
I Facetune my photos.
When starting this blog, Facetune was a big discussion within the body positivity/self-image community. But I was so hesitant to discuss it. How could I preach about self-love and accepting your flaws when I crudely airbrush mine. But I decided that I couldn’t talk about the deceptive images we see without addressing the most commonly used (and arguably most toxic) form of deception.
But the truth is, I don’t love myself. I relish in seeing the beauty in others but if given the choice to change myself, I can absolutely think of a way in which I would alter every single part of myself. And I think that a lot of women feel this way.
And this is where Facetune capitalizes on self-loathing. Before Facetune, we would see images of ourselves and think ‘Yeah that’ll do’. The closest to altering your appearance in a photo was probably breathing in and using a crude filter. But now, Facetune is the little devil whispering in your ear “You could easily make your nose look smaller” or “This photo would be nicer if you made your skin look more even” And for those of us with insecurities, this is far too tempting a proposition to ignore, no matter how strong your morals are.
There are some accounts of people feeling like Facetune makes them feel positive about themselves. Some Transgender Women have said that by Facetuning their photographs, they can recreate the image of femininity that they feel inside to reflect on the outside. By minimizing more ‘masculine’ features, trans women can embrace their felinity and reclaim their womanhood.
Facetune Sells us a lie.
But Facetune isn’t as liberating for everyone. We are constantly flooded with a stream of pictures in which women are trying desperately to fit the criteria of western beauty. Everyone is trying to have small waists, bigger breasts, perkier bums. I am absolutely not alone in my disdain for the way that I look. And how can we blame ourselves? especially when we are being sold a narrative of beauty that isn’t attainable.
Because of this, we can’t tell what is real anymore. Women are further being sold the narrative that everyone else is more beautiful than you. And if they ever wish to be deemed attractive you have to change yourself.
And I’m a part of this. Because I don’t embrace the way I look, I’m further pushing the narrative that there is only one way to be deemed attractive. Denying that beauty is universal, ignoring the beauty that is originality.
When I look in the mirror, I don’t see the even porcelain skin tone I craft for myself on my app. I see bags under my eyes. I see the round button nose that I so desperately try to minimize. I see myself. And it feels like a dirty secret. Not only have I been selling others a lie, but I’ve also been selling it to myself. I have been subconsciously saying to myself ‘I would be happier if I looked like this.’ and being constantly disheartened by my flawed reality.
But it’s easy to forget that Instagram does not reflect what we see in real life. When I look around me in my day to day life I am surrounded by BEAUTIFUL women who do not look like the women on the magazine covers or Instagram explore page. Their beauty is evident when they’re laughing at silly jokes, they’re achieving the things they want in life and working hard, and when they are unapologetically living their lives. And that is just not something that Facetune or Instagram can show you.
So I implore those reading this, to PLEASE post your imperfections. It is so beautifully refreshing to see imperfections. To see someone bracing their big nose, their thick thighs, and their cellulite! We are all people, and what makes us different is what makes us beautiful. Rather than erasing our originality to fit a checklist of idealized beauty, we should set our OWN standards for beauty. Let’s embrace ourselves and others around for what we really look like.
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I used to be hooked on this app. A few simple clicks and my face would turn from something I was ashamed of to something… 'perfect'. In fact if you scroll back far enough through my account you'll see me using it pre-bopo days. I want you all to see how easy it is to manipulate an image online. That when you compare yourself to that impossibly beautiful person in your feed, you might not be seeing the real picture. And even if you are, comparison is poison. Someone else's beauty isn't the absence of your own! So NO MORE COMPARISON OKAY? ? As for me, I don't see the left side as shameful anymore. I don't believe that every trace of life needs to edited out of my face for it to be beautiful. And I don't believe my face needs to be beautiful to be worthy of being seen. So what I'm really saying is this: Screw perfect beauty, we are all so much more than that ?. Inspired by my badass bopo friends @nourishandeat and @cupcakethighs ????☀