If you ask Instagram users how often they post photos without filters or some kind of retouching, they would probably say “very rarely” or “never.” Instagram filters can make photos look brighter and clearer, and photoshopping applications like Facetune allow users to smooth and adjust their facial features. Instagram filters and Facetune are so popular today that we rarely see real and raw photos posted on social media, which has led to the use of #nofilter or #nofacetune being considered brave or praiseworthy.
People love Facetune so much that it was the top paid app for Apple in 2017. While people’s motivations behind editing their photos can include trying to gain a greater following, having more professional looking photos or just trying to feel better about their appearance, they often do not think of the negative #NoFilter #NoFactune By Katelyn Wiszowaty, Staff Writer impact unrealistic photos can have. Editing photos with the intention of simply trying to post a high-quality photo is not negative or shameful, but it becomes a problem when we are altering our bodies and faces in an effort to please others and fit society’s idea of “attractive.”
Today, people recognize that photoshop and retouching of photos have contributed to body shaming and low self-esteem, yet the same people who claim to hold this belief still post photos on social media with heavy filters and Facetune. According to IGI Global, the unreachable standards that photos on social media have created contribute to low self-esteem and can even lead to eating disorders. Seeing my generation so affected by social media and ideal body standards makes me wonder what it will be like for the next generation who has been exposed at a much younger age. If we know that excessive use of filters, Facetune and photoshop are harmful, then why do we continue to do it?
Pressure to keep up with social media trends and find self-reassurance are two factors that contribute to people’s continued photo editing. Even though filtering and Facetuning our photos may be self-reassuring and make us feel better about ourselves when we post, they are not good habits. A reporter from the Washington Square News who wrote about this topic confessed to how Facetuning affects her, saying, “the longer I spend editing my cheeks to be slimmer, the bigger they look to me in the mirror... in the long term, it destroys selfesteem.” Once we fall in love with the versions of ourselves we post on social media, we love ourselves less in real life.
When I see someone receive praise for posting a selfie on social media with #nofilter or #nofacetune, I think about how many selfies have been altered to create a use for those hashtags. There’s nothing wrong with posting a selfie with #nofilter or #nofacetune; it is positive to post genuine selfies that have not been altered. However, I can’t help but think about what led to #nofilter and #nofacetune becoming popular.
Filtering, Facetuning and photoshopping can have huge negative impacts on self-esteem which can lead to more problems. When you see someone post a selfie with #nofilter or #nofacetune, think about how many unrealistic photos have been posted that have created a reason for those hashtags to exist, and think about the negative impact they’ve had; you just may be compelled to never use Facetune again.
By Katelyn Wiszowaty, Staff Writer