Real Teens Talk: Photoshop and FaceTune

In the first in a May series, we asked our Everly Mag Ambassadors* to tell us their thoughts about photo editing apps like Photoshop and FaceTune.

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“Apps like FaceTune are great for people who think they don’t look good enough for others.  They think something’s wrong with them just because they don’t live up to the expectations and extremely plastic looks that we think are attractive.” – Kendall*, 15, United States

“I personally feel that it’s not right for teens to change their looks in pictures.  Everyone is beautiful in their own way and they don’t need to change the way they look, especially on an app.  I can also understand why people do it, though.  It’s pretty sad that society is so quick to judge a person by the way they look.” – Dayna, 15, Australia

“I have mixed feelings about FaceTune and Photoshop.  I do not, by any means, think you need it or have to use them, but I do think the concept is pretty cool.  They allow you to put cool effects on your pictures and stuff, but I do not think that you should use them to make you look better.  You look amazing the way you are and you don’t need a virtual app to make you pretty!” – Raegan, 13, United States

“I think it’s fine if [people] haven’t completely edited their bodies or face.  Just a little something is fine.  If it makes them feel better, just like makeup makes women feel great, then I see no harm in it.” – Holly, 16, Australia

“I enjoy Photoshop to enhance my pictures more than change them.  I wish everyone could feel comfortable in their skin in regards to acne, but it is hard.  Sometimes I just want to cover up a pimple because that would make me feel better.  I don’t agree with changing an entire body or face.  Be yourself!  It’s a lot easier than being someone you’re not.” – Jess, 19, United States

“I feel that if [the apps] make you happy, then they make you happy, but I don’t necessarily agree with the purpose of the app.  I don’t think it’s wrong nor right that you can change how you look in pictures, but I don’t like that people came up with the app.  I think it’s empowering to the user in a bad way.  We are taught as children by our loved ones, teachers, the public, and even books and movies that we’re perfect just the way we are, but the second an app comes out telling people that your pictures aren’t good enough and need to be adjusted, we all believe it.  It tells people that the pictures we take aren’t adequate for this world, that [they] need to be fixed in order for you to look pretty.  I believe that confidence is key.  If you think you need to adjust your pictures in order to feel confident, that’s okay, but apps should not be able to tell you that you aren’t good enough.” – Paige, 15, United States

“I do not like [these apps] as they send out a negative effect.  People should learn to love themselves, not be envious of others or show hatred [toward] their appearances.  It makes me feel awful.  I believe that my body looks great the way it is.  I do not think it’s healthy for teens to be fixated on their appearances, as it may cause unhealthy habits, and these apps will only encourage this [fixation].  Therefore, I hope these apps are shut down soon.” – Talisa, 17, Australia

“In my opinion, these apps shouldn’t be used.  As teens, we are all focused on how we look and being judged all the time.  Teens should be allowed to use them.  If I have a very huge pimple, I want to cross it out, but it shouldn’t be used as a filter.” – Autumn, 13, United States

“I think Photoshop and other apps to edit your face and body, in most cases, pushes North American beauty standards and gives women and girls unrealistic expectations on what their bodies should look like.  Although it can be used in a more positive way, like to enhance features you really like about yourself whether that’s your eyes, hair, or freckles.  In general, I think everyone is beautiful and no one should have to feel inadequate because they don’t look like someone else.” – Kenzie, 13, Canada

“I don’t personally like Photoshop or FaceTune.  I understand why people may use it and how it makes them feel confident, but I don’t think it’s right.  I don’t know anyone who uses these apps that I’m aware of, and I’m glad because honestly I’d be worried for my friends if they did.  Knowing celebrities that do that disheartens me as they are feeding into the societal expectations that loom around us.  I think it’s more beautiful and empowering showing you as you are.  Telling the world that this is me, accept me or don’t is so empowering.  It’s you and you only.  [Using Photoshop] is like cheating on a test because at the end of the day the only person who suffers from it is yourself.” – Leigh, 18, Australia

“Everyone is concerned with how they look.  We all have imperfections that we want to cover up, and [we] use these apps to feel better about ourselves.  I don’t think it’s right to change what you have.  I don’t think it’s empowerment at all.  For me, empowerment is something that is accepting [of] what you have.  When I see Photoshopped pictures, I tend to blame the media since they tell us that we need to look specific ways.  I don’t think teens should be allowed to use the apps, since that age is where we become more sensitive on how we look.” – Bridget, 19, Canada

“Many famous people use apps like these.  I think if by altering pictures, you feel better about yourself, then you should.  But, I don’t think it’s empowering.  It creates expectations and demands for others to look as perfect as those images.  People don’t realize how many pictures are edited, and how unrealistic and unhealthy it would be to try to look like that.  Teens should be allowed to use these apps but it doesn’t mean that it’s what’s best for society.” – Marilynn, 13, Australia

“I don’t know why people are always using these apps.  Why [not] just be confident about who you are?  How can other people accept you if you, as yourself, can’t accept who you are?  You are amazing just the way you are.” – Asha, 16, Philippines


*Most ambassador names and identifying information have been changed, except by request.

Comment your thoughts below.  Want to contribute to Real Teens Talk?  Apply to become an Everly Mag Ambassador today.

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