Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Beauty: Does Editing Your Selfie mean You’re Insecure?

Since the dawn of the “selfie,” people have come up with many ways to improve it
First, we had the regular selfie that included just you. Then Ellen Degeneres took it to a new level with the Oscar Selfie that broke Twitter records, which eventually led to the “Ussie”. Now it seems it’s customary to have a group selfie with all your friends at any event. (You know, to show how much fun you’re having and who attended the event).
With so many types of selfies coming up, each one trying to outdo the other, it was only logical that the battle would shift from the type of selfie to the quality of the selfie; hence, the introduction of selfie apps.
I haven’t always been familiar with selfie apps, but recently got my hands on one that showed me why they are so popular. This particular one reduces the size of your face in selfies, makes the face look blemish-free, and literally gives you the perfect look for your photo. However I have to ask if these apps, in all their glory, are doing more harm than good.
I am all for a great looking photograph and having your “friends” on Instagram commend you for such a perfect photo; but looking at the flip side to that coin, these apps may not be all they are cracked up to be.
Take for example the app I downloaded. It claims to have all the capabilities that make pictures perfect, however; it doesn’t tell you that it literally (and I mean LITERALLY) changes the appearance of your facial features in these selfies. It changes your skin tone, contours your face, adds blush, makes your eyes bigger, eliminates unwanted wrinkles, fine lines, under-eye bags…it’s pretty much Photoshop on the go.
One of the images that came with the App that I used for practice
One of the images that came with the App that I used for practice
And I wonder, with apps like these, are we really showing our insecurities?
Selfie Apps - BellaNaija - August2014004
The Beyoncé photo above went viral when someone noticed that Beyoncé may have used an app to make her thighs look slimmer. Unfortunately the job wasn’t well done as the phone, couch and the wine glass in the image were altered/warped in the process.
No one is absolutely flawless; you might have a freckle, pimple, birth mark, scar or something somewhere. So if you put up perfect photos all the time, isn’t that really just saying you aren’t comfortable with your own skin? With the shape of your face, the colour of your eyes, the shade of your skin, the curves of your hips and thighs?
I have a friend who runs her photos through a selfie app every time she takes a photo because she isn’t comfortable with her birth mark. Is the birth mark that bad? Not really. But she isn’t comfortable with it. Every time she does this I ask “What happens when people see you in real life and don’t recognize you because your face isn’t as birth mark free as in your photos?
I know some of you may bring up the issue of makeup altering our features so much that it transforms us to a whole different person, but that’s a story for another day.
With selfie apps, we post so many perfect photos that we become used to how these photos look and grow more and more detached from reality; which is the fact that – it’s not really you.
I know so may people that would bend in the most awkward ways to take a selfie, not to mention that one time I had to smile for a long time because someone just couldn’t get her ‘signature selfie pose’ right. Not to mention those who would absolutely refuse me posting group photos in which I appear, without their approval and a few fixes from one app or the other.
Just yesterday I asked a friend of mine (one of my many test subjects for topics like these) and she has concluded that this all stems from celebrities. “I blame all them Kim Kardashian and Beyonce for this. Because people look up to them so much, they feel they need to look more like them. They need to dress like them and buy clothes that would turn their bank accounts black and blue; they want their hair, their skin, their lips, their life. Sekinat forgets she isn’t Kim Kardashian.” That part made me laugh. “They forget that you cannot have their life because you aren’t them.”
Could this be the cause of all these insecurities? Are we trying so hard to be “about that life” that we forget our own paths and start trying to jump on Kim and Beyoncé’s? Are selfie apps making life so perfect for us that we forget that life is far from it? They may make us forget, but it doesn’t change the fact that no one is perfect. And that it’s okay to be imperfect.
Share your thoughts.

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