It is now easier than every to alter the images we post on the internet. If you aren’t already familiar, FaceTune is an app similar to PhotoShop used to edit photos. It can be a touchup as small as whitening your teeth, or an edit as crazy as reshaping your entire body. For $3.99, you can have a photo editing app that can completely altar and contort your image into something totally new. For such a small price, it’s hard to resist an app that can completely void all of your insecurities and allow you to put your best photos forward onto social media.
When does photo editing go too far? I admit, I’m guilty of using editing apps to smooth out a zit or two. If you’re able to cover up your flaws, why wouldn’t you? It’s hard to shame someone for editing out their imperfections before posting it to the internet when we’re already constantly surrounded by airbrushed photos of glamorous celebrities that are portrayed so much glossier and flawless than they actually are. If we have the power in our hands to portray ourselves in a similar light for only four bucks, why wouldn’t we?
I’ve never actually used FaceTune myself, but I have seen friends of mine edit their photos to make their stomachs look flatter and their butts a little rounder and it’s definitely tempted me to edit photos of my own. Still, I’ve never done it and I never will. I don’t want to see edited photos of myself and what I want to look like. If I try to fix my unfixable flaws, and I create false images of myself to hide my insecurities or to try to create my ideal image, I’m only giving in to my flaws instead of learning to embrace them.
Here’s my problem with FaceTune: we use it to build a false confidence within ourselves. I take a picture of myself and I think I look too fat. I use the app to edit my stomach to make it appear more toned and flat. I post the image to Instagram, now feeling confident with how my body looks. I look hot and thin! But is this editing really making me more confident in my appearance? I just contorted my entire figure to feel more confident about an Instagram post, but in return, that just makes me all the more insecure about my genuine appearance.
An issue myself and many others have with the internet is that it is not an accurate portrayal of people’s lives. We all choose what we want to share on the internet. Most of us choose to share the good and the glamorous over our hardships. We’ll choose to post pictures when we’re having fun and full of joy, and ignore the ones of us going through our day-to-day struggles. We don’t want to portray our boring life. We want people to think our lives are exciting! Now with FaceTune, we can amp up our online portrayal even more. We can post pictures of ourselves going on fun adventures, living exciting lives, and looking flawless while we do it. No wrinkles, no bags under our eyes, just pure perfection.
We portray ourselves in a false way online. Many of us do, and it’s not always bad. It isn’t a bad thing to only post about the good times, but it becomes a whole different situation when you begin posting pictures that don’t accurately represent you. We don’t want people to know we live boring lives, and we don’t want people to know we’re flawed. As a result, we use apps like FaceTune to try to change and hide imperfections. Why? Why are we trying to be someone online that we’re clearly not? Why do we need to convince people we look a certain way when we don’t? We’re portraying ourselves in a false manner online and leading others to believe we’re something we’re not. We’re building a false persona online and building a confidence that will only fail us in real life.
FaceTune stems from applications like PhotoShop that has been around for years. We see perfectly edited celebrities online and on the cover of magazines and on billboards all the time. It’s a huge factor in what makes us insecure. When we’re exposed to people who look so perfect- flawless skin, and gorgeous figures- it’s impossible to not compare. Of course when we compare ourselves to something that’s not real, we’ll always be let down. Now we have the power to create images and appearances that aren’t real. This has brought image and beauty to a whole new extreme. Now, we don’t only feel insecure seeing photos of perfect celebrities, but now we feel insecure just scrolling through social media and seeing people we actually know. Real, obtainable people appear online as so flawless, and we start to compare. We compare ourselves to these false images people post online that only builds more insecurity in themselves, and now in us. We aspire to have such shiny hair and tanned skin, not even realizing that it’s not real. It’s only simply how this person chooses to portray him/herself. It can be hard to not feel insecure when everyone only posts pictures flashing their best smile and using edits to wipe away all their flaws. Everyone puts their best foot forward online, but many people choose to not post about things or images that are real to us. As a result, we feel insecure seeing how all of these perfect people are living such perfect lives. Never forget that people can choose and edit what they post, and just because these people want to portray an image online that isn’t true to who they are, doesn’t mean you have to too. It will only inflict more insecurity in the long run.
Social media can be a dangerous thing if you can’t accept who you are. If you want to use social media to only reflect on the good and you choose to post pictures of happier times, that’s absolutely alright. It’s when you start worrying and altering your image that it becomes a problem. If we use apps like FaceTune to create false portrayals of us, we will never feel comfortable in our own skin. Know that not everyone is as happy and perfect as they appear online, and it’s alright to post images that are true to who you are. Feel confident posting that untouched selfie. You don’t need FaceTune to be beautiful. Accept who you are and embrace your flaws. It’s time to stop hiding who we really are and all of our imperfections. It’s time to start loving our true and authentic selves.