There are times when you rejoice at the very existence of an airbrushing app on your phone. The morning after a night out, for example, when no amount of makeup is going to erase the effects. But though editing apps are amazing to play with, one woman has called out Samsung for reportedly “forcing” filtering by automatically “beautifying” people’s selfies.
Author of The Goddess Revolution and blogger Mel Wells took to her Instagram to share her frustration with the mobile phone brand. After receiving her new phone, she tested out the camera by taking a selfie and was shocked to see that her picture had automatically been edited.
Sharing the side-by-side selfie that illustrated the airbrushing, the 26-year-old wrote: “Wow Samsung. When you get a brand-new phone and go to take a selfie and realize that the default setting on the front camera is automatically on ‘Beauty level 8’ which evidently means: seriously airbrushed face.”
The 26-year-old actress went on to explain her anger at the default setting.
“This means everyone who gets a new Samsung phone and flicks the front camera on is automatically being told ‘Hi, we’re Samsung and we think you look way better when we automatically airbrush your selfies for you, x 8!!'”
“Thanks @samsungmobile for the vote of confidence,” she continued. “I think I’ll keep my freckles and imperfections since this is how I look in 3D and this is how all my friends see me in real life. I hope young girls are buying iPhones instead of Samsungs. (Wait, do iPhones do this too?) To clarify — no apps here — this is Samsung’s DEFAULT FRONT CAMERA SETTING.”
Wells raised an important point about automatic filtering setting unrealistic beauty standards, which could have a negative impact on self-esteem, and others were quick to agree. Since sharing her post earlier this week it has received 1,373 likes and more than a hundred comments.
“So sad that our children will feel that this is the norm and strive for unrealistic goals at times when all we need to do it love ourselves,” wrote one woman.
“Good on you for calling them out; ‘imperfections’ are what make us perfect,” wrote another.
“Love your work! So good that you’ve highlighted this! The world is awash with falseness and pressure to conform to ideals,” commented another user.
In a second post, Wells was keen to address the comments she’d received about not simply turning off the filter.
“Of course, you can turn the setting off/on as you please,” she wrote. “The point I was making is that when you first buy a brand-new handset, this setting is already automatically applied to the front camera and to beauty level 8. So already assuming the consumer wants to be airbrushed.”
“I wanted to raise this point as I think it’s one thing for us the consumer to decide to edit our photo after its been taken, but it’s another thing for the manufacturer to do it for us before we’ve even taken the shot.”
“The more we are told that we are supposed to look flawless, the more unhappy we will feel in our own skin — because none of us are flawless!” she continued.
“On the contrary — it is our imperfections that make us most beautiful.”
And the body-positive activist had a message for others about the dangers of social media comparisons.
“Social media comparison has a massive impact on anxiety levels in young people, and half the problem is we are being presented with flawless airbrushed photos constantly.”
“We all use filters and want to look our best, and this is not a rant about never editing photos because we’ve all done it — just remember when you’re scrolling that usually what you’re seeing is just an orchestrated and edited snapshot into someone’s Instalife. That’s all.”
This isn’t the first time people have made a stand against heavily filtered selfies. Earlier this year we reported on the trend of posting unedited selfies with the hashtag #NoFacetune to encourage social media users to ditch the Photoshopping apps.