In the world of advertising, magazine editorial and social media nowadays, everyone is flawless.
Photo alteration is no longer a skill set solely possessed by professional retouchers.
With 2 million downloads in Jan 2018 and $1 million estimated monthly revenue, Facetune 2 is definitely at the pinnacle of the vanity business. It gives smartphone users the ability to alter their appearance with surprising flexibility and specificity. Whiter teeth, smooth ‘poreless’ skin and a slimmer face can be easily achieved with only a few taps. China’s number one photo retouching app MeituPic also accumulate over 270 million monthly users, with Line Camera and Snow being developed in Japan and South Korea, respectively.
Yet what is also occurring as an aftermath of these vanity apps: the insecurity amongst teenage girls and young women alike.
BEHIND THE CURTAINS
There are two common image alterations based on the observations through my last decade in advertising and PR. The first is colour treatment or colour filter. Think Annie Leibovitz’s photo work and her iconic cyan or muted yellow image colour treatment; or Jo Malone and their distinctive warm tone to amplify the mood of understated luxury. Image mood setting has been a big part of brand identity, including mine. I am always alternating between a brown or purple filter.
Then, the second kind: the digital nip/tuck.
The popularity of vanity apps has further amplified an unattainable standard of beauty in the media. With traditional advertising media, readers have already aware of the images we see are doctored – Photoshopped. The likes of Instagram has blurred the line between fantasy and reality, as people present the best versions of themselves. This has indirectly created a very toxic cyber space for the younger generations.
University of Haifa
THE GOLDEN RULE
Whilst conventional beauty ideals needs to be updated, digital influencers like myself play an important role to convey positive body image, especially to those that look up to us. After all, flaws only add uniqueness and personality to our photos.
Well, that’s what I believe in.
Wearing: Gestuz velvet 2-piece set, Gucci glasses, accessories, socks and shoes.