Photo manipulation apps leading to unrealistic expectations

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The use of photo manipulation applications is causing some social media consumers to compare themselves to unrealistic images.

Apps such as Perfect365 and Facetune include features and tools that manipulate aspects of the face and body.

Yoni Sudry, a customer service specialist at Facetune, said when the Facetune app was created, the goal was to create a powerful portrait editing tool with unique features available on a mobile device.

“Some of our most popular features according to customers are smooth skin, whiten teeth, ability to change backdrops,” Sudry said.

Sudry said the popular app opened in 2013, and the second version of the app, Facetune 2, was released in 2016.

“Facetune 2 is quite popular and is currently rated 4.5 stars in the U.S. App store,” Sudry said.

Brooke Bostwick, junior nursing student at Michigan State University, uses Facetune to correct small aspects of her photographs.

Abigail Burbary

Brooke Bostwick, junior nursing student at Michigan State University, uses Facetune to correct small aspects of her photographs.

Brooke Bostwick, junior nursing student at Michigan State University, said she uses Facetune to correct aspects of her photos.

“I whiten my teeth sometimes depending on the lighting in the picture when I originally take it,” Bostwick said.

Bostwick said when it comes to unrealistic expectations as a result of photo manipulation, it depends on the photo and the situation at hand.

“If you’re a fitness blogger and you are taking a picture but editing your stomach and legs, you’re portraying yourself as something you are not,” Bostwick said.

Taylor Stack, advertising junior at MSU said she spends a lot of time on photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram because of the ability to convey creativity and be personable with other users.  

Taylor Stack, advertising junior at MSU scrolls through her Instagram app.

Abigail Burbary

Taylor Stack, advertising junior at MSU scrolls through her Instagram app.

“I’d say I spend about 10-15 hours a week on Instagram — gosh, that’s bad!” Stack said.

Stack said although she loves Instagram, she finds herself constantly comparing herself to other users’ photos on her newsfeed.

“I follow a lot of Victoria’s Secret angels and bloggers, as well as fitness, and obviously the Kardashians. I’m like ‘shoot’ they make me want to go to the gym, but I’m too busy on Instagram,” Stack said.

Stack pulls up her Instagram profile, which has grown to over 1,200 followers.

Abigail Burbary

Stack pulls up her Instagram profile, which has grown to over 1,200 followers.

Stack said when she starts to compare herself to other photos, she reminds herself about how she has retouched a photo before, and the other Instagram users might be doing the exact same thing.

“I’m realizing like ‘alright, someone touched that up,’ that might be realistic but they could have changed it too because I have changed mine,” Stack said.

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