Photoshop is now at our fingertips, every camera app on our smartphones, every social media app comes with built-in filters to blur lines, remove imperfections, add a glow to your face and lengthen your lashes. Not only do these filters manipulate your face it plays with the colour hue, shading and saturation. Leaving the finished “selfie” looking like a glamor shot instead of a candid photo.
It is not just the in app filters it’s all the programs you can download most of which have a free version to make you look the way you think you should. Type in photo editor into Google Play and the first choice that comes up is “Photo Editor-Beauty Camera and Photo Filters” it is as easy as pressing install to have flawless completion, change your hair colour, eye colour, the shape of your face, even a button that makes you look younger. As if the worse thing you can be is– yourself.
A photo on the internet can get countless views, and millions of likes. Thousands of young people see this retouched photo and think “I have to look like that too..” or some variation thereof. It sets up an unrealistic version of what they have to look like. Instead we should be promoting individuality and acceptance however we are showing our children that the natural beauty everyone possesses is not good enough. The exact opposite message we should be.
We should be teaching these girls and boys that you don’t need to conform to anyones ideas of what beauty is, as long as you like you that is all that matters. We should be shouting self acceptance and reassuring them that they are beautiful as they are. Leading by example instead of long pressing or swiping to get to the cute filter… you know the one with the flower and freckles or the cute ears and glasses (my personal favorite).
Why is it that we all want to look different, be different, what is so wrong with being ourselves and being happy to be.