The INSIDER Summary:
- Recently, people have taken to social media platforms like Instagram to share messages of body positivity.
- Specifically, many have exposed Photoshopped pictures to show how damaging it is to compare yourself against edited photos online.
- INSIDER rounded up eight apps that show just how powerful photo editing tools are and why you should be skeptical of Instagram posts.
The past few years have seen a huge uptick in posts about body positivity and self-love, especially on social media.
Now more than ever, people are using platforms like Instagram to dismantle harmful myths about weight and fight back against unrealistic beauty standards. Others have exposed Photoshopped pictures to show just how damaging, not to mention pointless, it is to compare yourself to people on social media.
The truth is, as someone who regularly edits her photos before sharing them online, I know how easy it is to transform a picture on your phone. It’s also why I take everything I see on social media with a grain of salt. After all, our online posts represent a carefully curated, and often painstakingly edited, version of our best selves.
Here are eight apps that show just how powerful photo editing apps can be.
You can use Facetune to remove logos, zap pimples, whiten your teeth, brighten your eyes, smooth over wrinkles, and so much more.
Facetune is my go-to app when I want to make any drastic changes to a photo.
For example, with some practice, the Reshape tool can subtly and realistically transform the shape of your body. The Tone tool can conceal wrinkles and add flattering shadows. And in combination, the Details, Red Eye, and White Eye tools can brighten your pupils and even change the color of your eyes.
However, as someone who has struggled with body image issues for most of my life, I’ll be the first to admit that this app has made it easier than ever to fixate on any perceived imperfections and go overboard with edits.
You can use Afterlight to completely transform the lighting in a picture and make a cloudy day look like a sunny one.
I use AfterLight to edit almost every single picture I post on Facebook. If you know what you’re doing, iPhone pictures can be stunning, but the ones I take are often darker than I would like them to be.
Afterlight gives you full control over the lighting of a picture and lets you layer as many edits as you want. Each of its 74 filters is adjustable, so you can fine-tune the brightness, color, and tone of your pictures. You can even add lens flares or use dusty overlays and Instant Film filters to make your smartphone photos look like they were taken with a different camera. I know because I’ve done it.
You can use Spring to make your body look skinnier or taller and even change the size of your head — yes, really.
This is one app I can’t and won’t defend. Body-altering features aside, all the other apps on this list are useful photography tools. In comparison, Spring can only be used to change the shape of your body, essentially preying on people’s insecurities.
As INSIDER’s Deputy Editor Megan Willett first wrote on Business Insider, the app is both effective and easy to use, but in doing so, you’re holding your body to unrealistic beauty standards.
Available for free on iOS.
You can use TouchRetouch to remove unwanted objects and lines, making it look like you got the perfect shot.
Ever wonder why people on Instagram seem to have flawless pictures? It’s probably because of apps like TouchRetouch which let you easily remove objects or people you don’t want in your photo.
You can use SKRWT to straighten horizontal or vertical lines, correct lens distortion, and make your pictures more symmetrical.
Perspective correcting apps like SKRWT let you perfect your photos with the swipe of a finger, turning underwhelming shots into breathtaking ones.
You can use Superimpose to add objects to your photo, change the background, and drop shadows for a realistic effect.
If you’ve ever used Photoshop on your computer, you know what a stark difference layers and masks can make when editing a picture. This app lets you do all that on your phone.
The next time you see a model posing in front of an artsy wall or beautiful landscape on Instagram, keep in mind the background might not even be real.
You can use Microsoft Selfie to edit and enhance your photos with one click.
While I’ve never used this app, its reviews on the App Store and Google Play are generally positive.
Microsoft Selfie uses computer vision technology to detect your age, gender, skin tone, and more. Then, using these variables, it can enhance your selfies and turn them into high-quality shots. It can also automatically fix the exposure and lighting in your photos.
Finally, you can use Adobe Photoshop Express right on your smartphone to do almost all of the above.
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