If mainstream media has taught us anything, it's that being beautiful can get you ahead in life. The notion isn't necessarily correct, but it's what the general consensus accepts and it seems to hold quite a bit of weight (no pun intended) in the western world.
Throughout the decades, film, music, and television have dictated what society should perceive as beautiful, thus rendering countless men and women insecure when compared to an ideal that is not only ridiculous, but often times impractical and literally unreal (thanks, Photoshop).
In a world where "selfie" has made its way into dictionaries, people are always trying to take that perfect photo of themselves, as narcissistic as it may seem, for countless reasons—profile pictures, flirty messages, self-worth, etc.
So, it's no surprise that a company would invest time and money into an application that enables users to take a selfie and digitally slim themselves down.
The application, SkinneePix, is simple and straightforward. Take a picture, then adjust how much digital weight you would like to remove—either 5, 10, or 15 lbs.
The company behind the app, Pretty Smart Women LLC, mentions that selfies can already be heavily manipulated through selective angles and lighting, but let's just state the obvious—they're exploiting insecurities. If the agenda was to empower individuals, mainly women, then make the app free with ad support, rather than having people fork over money in the name of beauty.
This app comes out days after singer/songwriter Lorde's anti-Photoshop statement on Twitter. The singer posted one photo after an unsolicited airbrush treatment (left, below), then another that shows her natural look (right, below), stating that "flaws are ok :-)".
This powerful statement can be applied to the controversy over SkinneePix, and what the application really promotes—the illusion of self-worth. Sure, posting a selfie exudes confidence, but the means of obtaining that selfie are mired in self-doubt.
Certainly, this app will help people feel better about themselves momentarily, but it will also perpetuate the false, collective ideal of beauty that society has. The application is currently only available on iOS for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, but the Android version will be coming out very soon.
In the meantime, take a look at one of the many ways you can simply take a better selfie, free of charge.