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If You Have This Type Of Phone, It May Be Automatically Airbrushing Your Photos

Health coach and blogger Mel Wells recently snapped a selfie with her newly purchased phone, as you do, when she noticed something strange: The freckles on her nose were missing from the image she’d captured.

In fact, if you look closely at the two images above, you can see that not only are her freckles missing in the image on the right but her skin looks smoother and more uniform as well. It turns out this is the result of a Samsung camera filter called “Beauty” and it was set to Level 8. The rub here? Wells said it’s the phone’s default camera setting.

Wells took a second selfie of herself after turning off the Beauty setting. She posted the two images side by side on Instagram and called out Samsung for setting the phone’s camera to automatically “improve” images.

“‘Hi, we’re Samsung and we think you look way better when we automatically airbrush your selfies for you, x 8!!'” Wells wrote.

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

After reading comments telling her to just turn the filter off and be done with it, Wells shared a second Instagram post on the subject to clarify her point, writing: 

“I wanted to raise this point as I think it’s one thing for us the consumer to decide to edit our photo after its been taken, but it’s another thing for the manufacturer to do it for us before we’ve even taken the shot. The more we are told that we are supposed to look flawless, the more unhappy we will feel in our own skin – because none of us are flawless! On the contrary – it is our imperfections that make us most beautiful. Social media comparison has a massive impact on anxiety levels in young people and half the problem is we are being presented with flawless airbrushed photos constantly.”

Thanks @cosmopolitanuk for picking this up. For those people saying “What’s the problem, just turn it off,” that wasn’t the point I was making. Of course you can turn the setting off/on as you please. The point I was making is that when you first buy a brand new handset, this setting is already automatically applied to the front camera and to beauty level 8. So already assuming the consumer wants to be airbrushed. I wanted to raise this point as I think it’s one thing for us the consumer to decide to edit our photo after its been taken, but it’s another thing for the manufacturer to do it for us before we’ve even taken the shot. The more we are told that we are supposed to look flawless, the more unhappy we will feel in our own skin – because none of us are flawless! On the contrary – it is our imperfections that make us most beautiful. Social media comparison has a massive impact on anxiety levels in young people and half the problem is we are being presented with flawless airbrushed photos constantly. In #TheGoddessRevolution there’s a chapter called ‘The Instaperfect Highlight Reel’. We all use filters and want to look our best, and this is not a rant about never editing photos because we’ve all done it – just remember when you’re scrolling that usually what you’re seeing is just an orchestrated and edited snapshot into someone’s Instalife. ❤ That’s all. Thanks for the support @cosmopolitanuk

A photo posted by M E L W E L L S ?? (@iammelwells) on

On Samsung’s Tech Life blog, the manufacturer describes the Beauty mode setting on its Galaxy S6 and S6 edge phones as “designed to detect and lighten faces, resulting in gentle photos.”

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