PHOTO editing app FaceApp trended recently in South Africa with users posting selfies that were super-edited with the app. The app includes various features such as smoothing out skin imperfections, wrinkles, acne or pimples. It results in the user looking flawless with bright skin as if applied with professionally done make-up.
Even former finance minister Tito Mboweni, joined in on the trend. He posted a selfie edited with the app and stated that he looked ‘handsome.’ Some users were not keen on FaceApp stating that it would affect the way people perceive their appearances.
Azemahle Dyubeni, a beauty and lifestyle influencer, condemned the app, saying it would worsen body dysmorphia. ‘I feel like it’s an unrealistic beauty standard that the app gives you and if you look back at your actual face, it’s nothing close to what the app shows you,’ she explained.
As someone who is active on social media she said she edits her pictures but does not reshape her nose and eyes because it would not be realistic. ‘I’m a beauty and fashion influencer so I want to remain to what I look like as possible,’ she added.
The influencer said: ‘I think if you’re old enough to deal with not liking yourself when you see your face and change it for Instagram, it can have long time psychological damage.’
Sipha Sithebe, a student, also has opposed the use of the app, tweeting that it promotes Eurocentric beauty standards. He says it demonises natural features such as pimples or blemishes. ‘Africans have wider noses, flat noses and if you look at the app carefully, it seems like it makes the noses smaller like Europeans. I think for some people it gave them straight hair or turned their natural hair straight. When I used it, it made my eyes blue,’ Sithebe said.
The Twitter user said FaceApp caused people to depend on it for confidence. ‘I also read that people don’t like seeing themselves without filters anymore, they generally can’t picture themselves without filters anymore, It does create a sense of body dysmorphia and makes them not sure about themselves.’
He said he was against the app because it impacted how people saw themselves and was against the burgeoning natural movement.
‘There is a movement that is trying to draw away from not incorporating blemishes and imperfections of people. People have started to reject the notion of photo shopping and airbrushing and airbrushing out stretch marks and pimples. FaceApp is moving against that movement and taking us back,’ he said.
Sithebe said society was beginning to move away from unrealistic beauty standards. ‘If creators want to use it to sell their products, I’m not against that because we’re all trying to sell and push. I just think maybe that’s the best way to advertise their make-up and business,’ Sithebe said.