Filters: The new photoshop

Remember when the manipulation of a woman’s features was only achievable by those gracing the covers of magazines or appearing in commercials and adverts. The days when we only had to compare ourselves to infiltrated photographs, when we momentarily sighed but more often than not carried on with life’s duties.

2016 is the year that I discovered my love/ hate relationship with Snapchat, after previously hating it the first time around but with a major update came some major sassy makeovers, hence force the puppy, festival flowers in hair, golden goddess crown and the “oh look my face is slim I.” I can’t say that I’ve not posted a few Snapchat selfies but it does concern me when some people solely use them when taking pictures in general.

I use Snapchat every now and again, finding myself more attracted to the damn right hilarious filters rather than the prettified ones. I can’t lie and say I don’t get that OHHHHWEEEE sensation when I look like the better version of myself but I would never want to lose who I am and what I look like by constantly using them. It made me really sad when a friend’s sister used the below shown filter, especially as she was already a rather ravishing looking beauty.

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This filter does nothing for me but works it’s magic for others!

It was just the other night that I was freeing up some of my procrastination time when I started to compare and realise just how much slimmer certain filters made my face appear. The real me just looked hideous in comparison to the dog face and the alien good looking face (as I’m going to call it.) See below.

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I’d become a thinner and less shine free version of myself! (Definitely with a smaller nose)

I really do love the the world of social media but I worry about the advances that come from within it and that we’ll be stuck in a vicious cycle of wanting to look a way that is unattainable without a filter or surgery. I for one, wait with tenterhooks to see how Snapchat and it’s family (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) will develop and what it means for the younger generations who are extremely vulnerable and impressionable.

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Alicia Keys: The No Make-up Movement

She may not be the first and she won’t be the last but Alicia Keys has got social media in quite a spin. The ‘In Common’ singer has been pictured and filmed going about her superstar lifestyle, with performances and photo shoots a-boot, still as bare faced as when the media took wind back in May.

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I want to proposition the opinions surrounding her freedom of choice as some appear to feel so strongly. Firstly I applaud Alicia Keys, as a house hold name around the world who has been in the music industry since 2001, it must have been either the easiest split second decision or something that she had thought about heavily. As a successful musician who would regularly be in hair and make up for music video’s, magazine shoots, award show performances and for generally going about her day to day showbiz lifestyle, it’s all a bit huh?!

Personally I don’t wear a heap of make-up, I’m happy to go naked to the gym or fluff some blusher over my cheeks and flick some eyeliner across my lids but recently I bought a basic contour kit (Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Creams £7.99.) Nothing quite to the scale of Kim Kardashian and other make up bloggers but after some time, I succumbed to joining the #ContourCulture. Maybe it’s not a big deal, after-all who doesn’t love an impulse buy when pay day has arrived?! Make-up consumption is different for all people and that’s something that Alicia Keys recently stressed, taking to twitter to say “Y’all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!” Her decision to go make-up free came after her fears of being snapped by paparazzi without her cosmetic disguise, it was then that she realised her thoughts were based too much on what other people thought of her. It’s refreshing to see this movement but it does make me bring up some of the differences of being a celebrity and being a non celeb. Using myself as an example- I’m happy to wear little, to no make- up but on certain occasions I feel it plausible to wear a little extra. Perhaps and more than likely this is due to what I’ve grown up viewing in the media but there’s certain places I’d feel uncomfortable not wearing a touch more blusher and some enhanced eyes. Situations including wedding’s, a date, an interview would make me feel anxious but why? In the example of a job interview, I would be concerned the interviewer would judge me as being lazy and disregarding how I came across. We’re taught that we should make an effort and for me, make- up is as much an exstention of making the effort, as it is to deliberating over my outfit of choice. I guess Alicia is right, I’m concerned about how others may judge me and I’ve disallowed myself to feel free from the shackles of tint, highlighter, mascara and lipstick.

I feel as if it’s an easier step for her to take as we’re all in agreement that she is one stunning woman, come make- up or no make-up. She’s generated a buzz and used her status but truthfully would anybody batter an eyelid (apart from prying eyes on Facebook maybe, if I turned up to my friend’s birthday party?) I know I’d get stern words from my besties but if I felt that strongly I think they would respect my decisions. I don’t think I’d get as much applause if I went about my day to day business BUT if I’m encouraged to do it then who’s business is it but mine? If I go to sleep at a friend’s and wake up in the morning, will they still recognise me? YES. Do I feel exposed going out in public make- up free? No, but once upon a time I did. This was a time when I believed my skin was terrible and I was generally unhappy about my appearance… fast forward a few years later and I’m at peace with my appearance, sure make-up wacks up my confidence points but around people I know and trust, I feel no shame in going au natural. I was tempted to do a #WhatHappenedWhen blog following a week of no slap but then I decided to hold off because I genuinely don’t feel as if the results would be too life shattering but watch this space because 5th September is the first day of my #NoMakeupMovement and with Bestival around the corner (glitter doesn’t count as make- up does it?) I just might try the revolution.

I expressed that it might be easier for Alicia Keys to bin make-up but then again, maybe its been just as difficult or harder. As a singer/ songwriter  who alongside her voice, has a package that fans expect to be polished and well executed, it could have gone terribly wrong, had it not been for a team that support her and fans that adore her. Magazines could have photo-shopped her and shows could have pulled her from their line-up and the fact that they haven’t shows that this movement is far more powerful than the haters on twitter could imagine.

Some of the extreme make-up that I see on Instagram and other social media channels worries me, because before and afters appear to show two completely different people, which to me is a short step away from cosmetic surgery. People may argue that I am speaking madness and that it’s just to enhance what they’ve already got but ask yourself, would a complete stranger recognise you on your second meeting without all the slap?

Alicia Keys isn’t issuing us to remove the foundation but if young and influenced people decide that less is more and inch by inch can learn to love their natural look, isn’t that a beautifully positive message?