A few weeks ago, I discovered this amazing new app. I actually think Apple tempted me with it. Somehow they suggested it to me – I don’t remember where, but I do clearly remember the wording.
“Wondering how all your friend’s selfies are so amazing? This is what they’re using.”
I was intrigued, because all of my selfies make my face look like the landscape of mars, and the size of it too.
I downloaded the app, FaceTune, and was immediately overwhelmed by the auto-loading tutorials. They were intense. There was a LOT going on here.
But I slowly started playing with one setting at a time….
And there began my downward spiral into tuning my face.
It didn’t help at all that we had family photos the next week, and I suddenly had hundreds of pictures with which to tinker.
I mean sure, I played with the kid’s eyes to make them brighter and less shadowy, but this app was really about me, not them. Their skin hasn’t yet been ruined by the ravages of sun and lack of sleep and poor skincare like mine has.
And so I played. I smoothed out my skin, erasing wrinkles and sun spots and crater-pores. I was amazed!! If only I had airbrush makeup (or a skin transplant), I could look like this every day!
Then I erased under-eye shadows. Surely they’re just because I’m terrible at putting on mascara – it’s not what I really look like. I am just erasing my own mistakes – that’s all!
It was so easy! Just a swipe of my finger here and there…
But FaceTune is a lot like Plastic Surgery.
A little is great.
But the longer you play, the more likely you are to turn yourself into something grotesque.
I mean sure, I don’t have any wrinkles, but my face nearly lost all natural contours in the process. Magic always has a price.
And then there was this edit.
Yes, my skin looks like it could be in a beauty pageant. But I also look like an American Girl Doll replica of myself. She ain’t real.
Despite my slight misgivings about my somewhat deceptive editing, I posted two of the photos as my new profile pictures on all of my social media accounts:
And the comments began.
“You look so young!”
“I swear you’re aging backwards!”
“You look fifteen!”
“Is your hair blue?”
Aside from the last one, each pricked my conscience a little more forcefully.
I mean sure, I’ve always edited my photos (who doesn’t?), but FaceTune gave me a level of control the likes of which I’d never wielded before. And with much power comes much…facial contortion.
And so began my downward spiral of angst and conflicting emotions.
1. I should admit that objects in this photo are not as young as they appear.
2. They don’t even look like me. I mean, those photos were taken when I looked my best, so there is no way I could ever achieve the post-edit skin tone on my own.
3. But it could! If I were better at makeup! Or had my own professional airbrush cosmetics studio!
4. Okay not really .This is what I would look like if I had a proper skin care regimen AND started it twenty years ago. And maybe wasn’t prone to freckling.
5. But I could be this person if I lived entirely on the internet. Oh – I wonder if I could do that?! Then I could have all the perfect skin tone I wanted….
6. I NEED NEW MAKEUP!!
7. Oh dang. There’s another comment. I need to admit my trespasses. I have to. I’m losing all credibility. The only way to regain it is to post a no-makeup selfie.
8. But if the photo were overexposed, my skin would look that good, too! Cameras always lie – everyone knows that!
9. And anyway. I bet all the people on the internet with perfect skin are just FaceTuned. That’s what Apple told me, didn’t they?!
10. MAKEUP. I MUST GET NEW MAKEUP.
11. Argh. The photographer just liked my photo on Facebook. He’s probably judging me for smoothing myself. HE knows what I really looked like. HE knows I’m lying through my wrinkles.
12. I wonder how you can shrink pores as big as mine?
13. FaceTune. Oh, FaceTune. Why can’t you transform my skin like you lie about my photograph? Why can’t you be a real boy?
14. If God didn’t want me to be able to smooth my skin on the internet then He wouldn’t have created FaceTune. So there.
…But He could’ve cut out the middle man and just given me flawless skin to start with…
15. Guilt. Nothing but guilt. (But not quite enough to change my profile picture.)
FaceTune should have been called Pandora’s Face. That’s all there is to it.