Facetune Too Unreal

Maggie Smart

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In 2014, popular clothing company American Eagle launched a body image campaign, “Aerie Real,” and vowed to stop photoshopping their models in an effort to promote body positivity. Simultaneously, a study from the Renfrew Center Foundation found that 70 percent of millennials manipulate and photoshop their own photos before posting them on social media.
Photo-altering apps are easy to download and simple to use, enabling anyone to modify photos of themself with ease. When people alter their pictures before uploading them, social media platforms quickly become filled with unrealistic body images.
Instagram, in particular, is notorious for its dangerously high body image standard. A study from the Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram causes the most anxiety in teens and young adults out of all social media platforms. It also found that Instagram has the worst effect on body image overall.
The normalization of photoshopping is undoubtedly problematic; however, the solutions to these issues are less transparent. There isn’t really a way to control how much people photoshop. Additionally, some altering is used to create art, and is undoubtedly a reputable art form.
We need to continue to spread the word of the dangers of unrealistic body images resulting from manipulating photos, and make sure that teens continue to be confident and know their own true beauty. In addition, teens: continue posting pictures of your real self. Not only will this help build your confidence, but it will also help other teens feel better about themselves and possibly stop editing their pictures.
In the meantime, let the haters hate. The opinions of others don’t matter when it comes to your self-worth.

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