The Ugly Business of Beauty Apps

"The Ugly Business of Beauty Apps” (Internetting with Amanda Hess) – The New York Times, 2017, 4:02 --

An insightful video about the proliferation of beauty apps. From a sociological perspective, these apps seem to be further homogenizing an ideal body type. Such apps and filters edit your selfie to make you even more beautiful than you already are, giving you larger eyes, a smaller nose, softer skin, and slenderer appearance. What effect will this have on young people and their self-worth? While an argument can be made that such apps empower people to feel their best, I suspect the overall social impact will be adverse—more internalized shame over our real body and more pressure to edit the self we present to others. 

But it’s not just teens who use this technology. Zoom video conferencing, for example, has a feature that claims to hide your blemishes. And when it comes to job interviews and other important meetings, enabling such a blemish filter seems like a good idea.

From the video’s description: You don't have to get digital plastic surgery in order to be a person online, but there are a lot of companies that strongly suggest that you do. And many of these products have a really particular idea about how we're supposed to look: super white, hyper feminine and creepily youthful.