Generation selfie might be flirting with livestreaming apps but that doesn’t mean it’s abandoned its primary love affair with lensing and filtering shots of its own face. God no. How else would it continue injecting the required expressiveness across its social feeds?
And so public places remain awash with phone-holding folk all duckfacing and selfie-sticking — as they attempt to procure le visage juste du jour. Just imagine how much more gurning into a lens is going on in private.
Really this is sweating toil for very fleeting fancy. Especially when the end result is mutable pixels. Truly the digital selfie is an entirely moveable feast. Just add that hipster filter, or run it through that slimming algorithm, and so on.
For those wanting to get even more pro about how they polish their selfies, a newly launched iOS app called Relook (priced at a hefty $3.99 — but hey, what price vanity?) offers an extensive range of mobile-friendly facial correcting tools — from skin smoothing to blemish correction to teeth whitening — all designed to work with inexpert finger swipes on a touchscreen, rather than requiring specialist image editing software knowledge. (So again, this is mobile as the driver for overhauling overly complex user interface design.)
Although it can be used purely on mobile, the app also supports file exports to Photoshop (with full layer data) — so is aiming to appeal to image editing pros too, as well as anyone who wants their selfie to look a bit less photorealistic.
It’s extremely easy to use — and the results appear more than passable for the disposable currency of the socially shared selfie (although proper Photoshop pros may not be so impressed when they dig into the detail).
In the same way that Snapseed made high end image post-processing accessible to anyone with a smartphone, via easy-to-use mobile tools, Relook is aiming to repeat the trick fully focused on selfie editing. And we know how enormous that market is. Call it the democratizing of looking unrealistically good.
Remember kids: the camera never lies; it’s just a matter of how you manipulate light and shade. Aka: truth on the Internet is (increasingly) relative.