We all know the all too familiar sensation of scrolling through Instagram when you come across a selfie of that girl in your PoliSci class that you follow because her food instas are on point. Her skin is perfect, she has a perfect body and you've never seen someone's eyes look so large. However, it’s not just makeup that makes her selfies so perfect. With apps like Perfect 365, Facetune, and YouCam Perfect, the average srat star can edit to her heart’s desire—no photoshop experience necessary. But are these apps realistic for everyday use?


Pro: Photo Editing Apps Are Great

“You know how there’s always that one friend who looks bad in a group picture, and people started getting bitchy that you can’t upload it?” Jennifer* begins. 

Last year, Jennifer wanted to make a picture of her group of friends from Spring Break her cover photo, but you could see acne on her face. Her friend introduced her to an app that would make her face flawless. 

“Basically, you can make yourself a lot prettier than you are.” She laughs, “Facetune impedes natural selection.” 

Most pictures she was uploading were of her and her friends out at parties, which can often be less–than–stellar photos. Jennifer explained the process of beginning to use apps like Facetune. She pointed out that a lot of the app consists of simple picture editing stuff; if it's too dark in a frat basement, you can make it so that you're actually able to see people in the picture. 

However, Jennifer realizes now that she went overboard in the early days of Facetune. 

“Stalk my pictures back, all of the faces were blurred, bright white eyes…I’ve gotten a lot more subtle at using them, but its debatable if they’re all that subtle.” 

She tells us that her friend actually called out on social media for her use of the app, commenting on pictures that are over edited. 

“I don’t want people thinking that we think its okay to be that edited,” she says. 

She also explains some flaws of the app. 

“If you drag your stomach in you can make your friends look fatter, and be a bitch… If you’re not a bitch you won't make your friends look fat.” 

Jennifer isn’t proud about this, and knows that it probably isn’t the greatest for her self esteem or body image. But then again, she explains, no one ever claimed Facebook was real life anyhow. 

Jennifer thinks that celebrity usage of photo editing apps is a lot more acceptable. Celebrities have teams of people to make sure they look beautiful. They’re subject to a lot more scrutiny. 

“I have shit to do as a full time student, they have to look beautiful. It's their one and only job, they should look good.” 

*name has been changed 


Con: Photo Editing Apps Create Unrealistic Standards

Hope Mackenzie is a college junior. She is a skilled photographer, and is familiar with all types of photo editing. 

“In general, if it's a matter of enhancing the lighting, colors, contrast—I’m all for it. You go girl. But as soon as we talk about body morphing, like making yourself skinnier, your eyes bigger, getting really intense about it, then those are just some lying visuals,” Mackenzie says, laughing. 

Hope thinks about this in photography a lot. Whether it's something serious or a selfie, she really enjoys when things look like a moment captured in time. 

“If you wanna make the sky bluer and your lighting better, I’m all for it! It’s like the idea of wearing makeup, but for your picture. Enhancing naturally. When it comes to making your eyes bigger, or your butt bigger/smaller, making yourself skinnier, instead of an enhanced moment in reality, it is a bold faced lie,” Hope explains. 

“Makeup for your picture? Sure. But am I getting plastic surgery? No, I’m just trying to enhance what my mamma gave me.” 

When it comes to celebrities' Instagram presences, Hope shares that she doesn't think over–editing is acceptable, but it is sadly normal. An unsaid rule of magazines is that everything is photoshopped in some way. 

Photos that aren’t edited on Instagram by celebrities are usually a big deal. Hope thinks that it is up to the consumer to understand that celebrities are putting out false images of themselves in general. For normal people to go to the same lengths to make a distorted version of their online self is kind of just weaving their own lie. 

“I think most humans looking on Insta and they see some Kardashian picture, there is some sort of thought saying it’s probably edited. But if I’m looking at one of my best friend’s pictures from a date night or something, I probably think that they woke up like that. People in society are not using the same tricks of the trade as celebrities are using.” 

Mackenzie also addresses body image issues with these apps. 

“If I’m someone who uses these apps and see people liking that I made myself skinnier, if I get all of these likes/comments on distorted version of myself, I can only imagine how I view myself is effected. It would make me believe the people who like my picture don’t like the 'real' me."


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