A prominent author and health coach has lashed out at Samsung for selling mobile phones with selfie cameras that are automatically set to a “beauty mode” that airbrushes faces.
Mel Wells, a positive body image advocate and author of The Goddess Revolution, drew attention the default setting last week by posting a side-by-side comparison of selfies to her Instagram account.
One had no filter, while the other showed Wells’ airbrushed face courtesy of the “beauty mode” — a setting that a body image expert told The New Daily was “problematic on a number of levels”.
Wells, from England, wrote on Instagram: “Wow Samsung. When you get a brand new phone and go to take a selfie and realise that the default setting on the front camera is automatically on ‘Beauty level 8’ which evidently means: seriously airbrushed face.
“This means everyone who gets a new Samsung phone and flicks the front camera on is automatically being told, ‘Hi, we’re Samsung and we think you look way better when we automatically airbrush your selfies for you.”
Wow Samsung. When you get a brand new phone and go to take a selfie and realise that the default setting on the front camera is automatically on “Beauty level 8” which evidently means: seriously airbrushed face. This means everyone who gets a new Samsung phone and flicks the front camera on is automatically being told “Hi, we’re Samsung and we think you look way better when we automatically airbrush your selfies for you, x 8!!” Thanks @samsungmobile for the vote of confidence, I think I’ll keep my freckles and imperfections since this is how I look in 3D and this is how all my friends see me in real life. I hope young girls are buying iPhones instead of Samsungs. (Wait, do iPhones do this too?) To clarify – no apps here – this is Samsung’s DEFAULT FRONT CAMERA SETTING. 😟🙈
A photo posted by M E L W E L L S 🦄🌈 (@iammelwells) on
Samsung did not respond to requests for comment by The New Daily.
In response to the furore, Cosmopolitan magazine published a story containing women comparing the beauty filters offered by Samsung.
One woman claimed: “This should be illegal. I don’t even look like a real person.”
Samsung phone camera airbrush ‘problematic’
Flinders University body image expert Professor Marika Tiggemann argued that the beauty filter being a phone default setting was “overwhelmingly a negative thing for body image”.
“Using that function emphasises the importance of appearance,” Professor Tiggemann told The New Daily.
“It stresses the idea that pictures you post to social media should be better, perfect, more beautiful than what you really are.
“It increases the importance and focus on appearance which is way too much as it is. In the main it is a negative thing for people.”
The problem becomes compounded when airbrushed and filtered photos are shared to social media, the Professor said.
“When some people upload an edited photo you deem to be a ‘good’ representation of yourself, you might feel good initially. But in the long term it put’s pressure on people to look the same naturally.”