Facetune is the best and worst invention ever to come into our lives
Get thee behind me, Satan
If you use Instagram, watch RuPaul’s Drag Race or have eyes, you’ve probably encountered Facetune recently.
The miracle app which allows us to smooth, conceal, nip tuck and filter our way to better photos is all over the series after contestant Aja – a drag queen who ‘came up’ as a heavily edited presence on social media – has been dragged for her IRL appearance where her skin is decidedly less smooth. Despite the vitriol thrown at her, Aja has embraced being outed for using Facetune, posting her before and after shots on Insta and saying she should be their brand ambassador.
I literally didn’t know what Facetune was until about a month ago, and quickly became absolutely obsessed. I felt so stupid for not having realised that it was a thing before. When I read trashy Mail Online articles about Beyonce or someone fucking up a photoshop and leaving a wavy-lined Instagram, or when I was sent screenshots from the wavy lined Instagrams of people my friends knew who had done the same thing and fucked it up on the same way, I always wondered how they had the time to do it. I can barely crop something on Photoshop. Turns out, it’s Facetune, the app of the gods (and devils).
The thing is, Facetune is in itself, a harmless thing. It’s a way to blur out small imperfections or brighten a photo or make it look great – even if unlike Kylie or Beyonce, you have less than 500 Instagram followers and they all know literally exactly what you look like anyway. If you don’t get locked on, it’s fun. When people are open and honest about it, there’s really no big deal. “This is me without edit on the left and with on the right – I don’t really see anything wrong with a nice filter”, says Lucy, sending me this pic.
“Would I have put it up like the original? Probably but after years of suffering from acne I obsess over my skin in photos and I feel more comfortable making sure it looks good even if that’s just banning the shine. Actually my boobs look great in that first photo. I swear they look bigger and I didn’t even edit the shape of me or anything. I guess the one on the left is more realistic but I’d already found some insane lighting and got dressed up and made up so why wouldn’t I make myself look even better?
“Facetune is life and if someone invents its for everyday life, I will invest heavily.”
It’s also become a progressive tool for body positive influencers like model Emily Bador, who regularly posts edited and unedited photos of herself on her Instagram and openly discusses her struggle to accept her body without photoshop.
The problem with Facetune though, aside from the obvious one that becoming obsessed with it will rot your self-image and make you question how you look and how you want to look, is that the discourse around it helps promote the disturbing idea that by changing a selfie, people (especially women) are somehow lying to everyone, that they shouldn’t be trusted, that they’re somehow less real and legitimate than women who don’t.
Writing for Grazia Lucy Vine points to Kendrick Lamar’s new video for Humble, which, while lauded as a feminist masterpiece is still “a man telling us what is and isn’t attractive about a woman”. In this case, it’s “fucking photoshop”. “I can’t escape the feeling that there is an exploitation of female insecurity here”, writes Vine.
Using Facetune might make you a little obsessed, but as long as you’re honest about why you like it (because it makes everyone look fitter) and you use it, like everything, in moderation, it’s not the be all and end all of the evils of social media. I used to be obsessed with it”, another friend, Lexi, says. “Like I would smooth the hell out of every photo and make my lashes darker and remove any trace of eye bags until I looked like a bowling ball. I never use it anymore, I think it’s way too obvious unless you’re super subtle and it’s only really good for blurring the background to make photos look more professional.”
The worrying thing is not the app itself then, it’s using it to slide into negative self-image, or using it to brand women as fake or basic. We can’t let it become the new dog filters, birthday balloons or whatever else makes us fake bitches currently.
Maybe take a step back from the retouch tool for five minutes and consider whether you actually need it, but if you like it, fuck it, blur to your heart’s content. We’re all guilty.
The rules of 2019 have already been decided and there’s nothing we can do about it
People are already mad
by Caroline Phinney
I feel kind of bad for 2019 because people are already mad at it and it hasn't even started. It's like when you get with someone following a breakup and you're already assuming they're cheating on and lying to you, because why would anyone ever be genuine? How can you blame us though? Even if…
Your weekly horoscopes are here, and it looks like someone is finally going to commit
Took long enough
by Codi Cheyenne
When I dip, you dip. The energies of the cosmos seriously slipped last week, and now we’re all rising back up. That means you’re going to have to shake off the dust and become alert. Venus and Saturn will also connect this week, offering us some much-needed connection to other people, as well as clarity…
Your weekly horoscope is all about how to avoid some pretty intense love drama
How to avoid getting dumped after you already bought his Christmas gift
by Codi Cheyenne
Mercury’s retrograde ends on December 6th! How are we celebrating? What better way than with a New Moon in Sagittarius the very next day! If you’re wise, you’ll use this for a fresh start to stop getting caught up in the same dramatic situations playing on repeat and move on. Use this as a chance…