Thursday, March 2, 2017

Are Our Selfies Really Ourselves? Is Heavily Editing & Filtering Our Photographs Going Too Far?

L: Original to R: Heavily Edited
In recent years there has been widespread reporting, and criticism of the use of excessive airbrushing on models within the film/TV, fashion and beauty world, and rightly so as I think it’s important for us ‘real people’ to know that the perfection that we are all faced with in magazines, on billboards and on TV isn’t real.

The standard of beauty that we’re being made to feel that we have to live up to isn’t even being achieved by the models in these advertising campaigns, as they’re so heavily edited to present this admittedly very beautiful, but wholly unrealistic picture in order to make us desire the products they’re promoting.

It’s important to remember that we’re not all failing in life by not walking around with 24/7 flawless skin, balanced, equal facial features, perfect abs, and large, symmetrical tits.

Yet so many of us feel that we’re not desirable, not pretty, not thin, and not perfect enough even to post a selfie on our own Facebook, or Instagram profiles without being judged and compared against the unrealistic standards set by these people.

This in turn has led to a huge increase of girls uploading photos of themselves that have had heavy filters and editing beforehand. The problem comes when people (girls, usually) edit pictures, and use filters to the point that they not only no longer resemble themselves, but some of them actually look like 2-dimensional cartoon characters.

I’ve seen, and heard so many people saying things like ‘she takes a good photo’, and ‘she looks nothing like her pictures’, even stating that on occasions, people have even failed to recognise the person in real life from their online photographs due to flattering angles, and excessive editing and filter use... with some girls even being called catfish for their 'deceptive' photography practices.

I think it’s sad to see this, as for me a photograph is not only for now, but also to look back on when I get older, and remember what I actually looked like – despite me being constantly told that I actually look a lot better in real life, as I think my face somehow panics when in front of a camera, even if it’s just me, taking a selfie. I’d rather know I probably looked better in real life than in the picture, than have a shit load of hugely edited, filtered to fuckery false images that look nothing like me at all.

Hence why I personally don’t bother with these heavy editing techniques. Well, that and because I can’t be bothered as it would take too much time that I just don’t have… plus I am absolutely rubbish at editing, as I’ve just found out whilst trying to edit pictures of myself for this article; instead opting to use a fully blur tool for one image (idiot-proof, as I obviously wanted it to look fake), and an app to make another image appear more cartoon-like, as I obviously couldn’t use the photographic examples that prompted me to write this. ;-)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for filters occasionally as a laugh – like the silly Snapchat filters, but I keep seeing girls who look more like a cartoon than a human in every single picture they seem to upload and it just makes me feel a little sad that these girls can’t just be happy to be photographed as they actually are, and know that imperfections are what make us unique.

For me, I’m happy to use a little make-up, and hope for the best where my pictures are concerned… oh, and probably about 44 gigabytes of data for the million selfies that I hated before I took one that I thought was acceptable, ha.

What are your thoughts? Do you see this happening a lot? Do you yourself heavily edit your pictures? x

This post originated at


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