Snapchat has been facing some controversy with its filters – first, accused of blackface with the Bob Marley filter, and now, accused of whitewashing. I am happy that people are realizing that filters are subtly telling us what beautiful means (Western face, big eyes, white skin) – but like, I’m confused as to why are people decided to freak out about one Snapchat photo filter at this specific moment in time? Please read more!
All over social media, people are outraged at Snapchat for distorting the color and shape of their faces and defining that distortion as beautiful. My first impression is like, YAS, finally people are noticing these micro-oppressive beauty standards that are pervasive in both America and other countries (*glares at Asian beauty filters*).
But then, my initial pride sort of fades, and I’m like – wait, why is everyone targeting Snapchat though? Isn’t it weird that many women purchase mascara and eyeliner to enlargen their eyes, yet won’t have it when Snapchat tries to do the exact same thing? That when a beauty app shrinks their chins, women get really angry, but these same women embrace contouring? Heck, even the selfie trick of positioning the camera higher up is meant to make your lower face look sharper.
And trust me, I’m not trying to blame people for being hypocrites – I am one myself. I shake my head at these filters, but I still use them because at the end of the day, I like the idea of airbrushed, bright skin, large eyes, and a sharp jaw. I am fully aware of the beauty standards imposed on women, but still choose to buy into them.
So that makes me confused about the backlash against Snapchat specifically. These standards have been pervasive for quite a while – has anyone heard of a filter than darkened their skin, that didn’t try to blur out every blemish? Has anyone heard of a filter that shrunk their eye size? Or one that enlargens the nose?
But maybe people are just more aware now, which makes me hopeful.
Although I am a little confused, I still vehemently disagree with the opinion that this outrage is just “people being oversensitive”. Being vocal about these kinds of things are good first step.
I’m glad the people who noticed stood up and spoke out. I just hope people don’t think it’s just Snapchat that is pushing for unfair beauty standards, and that this controversy is only the beginning of our awareness of the dangerously powerful beauty standards presented to us every single day.