Air-brushing is not behind us as the digital age progresses

The first knowledge of air-brushing began with magazine photo-shoots, celebrities perfect faces on front covers.

In 2011,  Snapchat took headway with social media, the app based on sending temporary photos of your face, known as ‘selfies.’ The app introduced filters the most popular being the dog filter which makes you look like a dog. Simultaneously thinning out our cheekbone structure, air-brushing our face of blemishes, changing our eye colour and neck size.

Despite many damaging consequences of this constant false portrayal, especially for millennials, the market for filtering photo’s seemed to continue to grow. 

2019 does not appear to be a year of change, whilst face editing filters now appear all over our social media, specific apps have been created to help make ‘the perfect selfie.’

One of the most recent updated and well-known apps for face editing is called ‘FaceTune,’ its most recent update occurring January 23rd 2019. The app itself includes features such as achieving “perfect eyes and smile,” by whitening teeth, widening eyes and adding sparkles. Other features include providing an appearance of “flawless skin,” allowing blemishes, spots and blackheads to be filtered out as well as hiding wrinkles and providing dull, pale skin with an artificial glow.

However, this normalisation of air-brushing can be viewed as damaging. We have a strict sociatal idea of what beauty means, rating our own, as well as other’s worth on how well they keep creating this illusion. The amount of ‘likes’ or signs of approval being what allows someone to, through using these apps, feel validated.

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The apps themselves can cause negative perceptions on how we actually look; it’s normalising these false appearances rather than the skin issues we all face. We are teaching young people a facade of perfection and creating a need for filters to gain validation.

Marketing campaigns are still making money off our misery as our society on a whole continues to promote one type of beauty, leading us to turn to filters in order to achieve. The app ‘Facetune’ specifically includes ‘in-app’ purchases which can round up to £28.00 in order to access all its features. 

This encouraged use of filters, in order to see ourselves as beautiful, removing any sense of reality.  We begin to compare ourselves to other unrealistic images and face an endless cycle, one not likely to end well.

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