A trend on Instagram of taking older color photos of famous people and running them through modern photo editing filters is now being called "insta-face."
This trend of filtering photos (usually of women) produces a version with perfectly wrinkle and pour free skin, large cat-like eyes, naturally pouty lips and high cheek bones—often making the subject look ethnically ambiguous but leaning toward Whiteness.
As one Twitter user explained:
"There's this trend among ~aesthetic~ IG accounts of taking old pictures of female movie stars and running them through the face alteration apps to give the (already very strikingly beautiful women) generic Instagram Faces (thick lips, ski slope nose, teeth white as toilet bowls)."
There’s this trend among ~aesthetic~ IG accounts of taking old pictures of female movie stars and running them thro… https://t.co/p8NlqW6LnL— Iva Dixit (@Iva Dixit)1600883780.0
Madonna was recently in the news because a Twitter user pointed out how a grouping of youthful photos of her from the 90s featuring Michael Jackson had been run through filters. The photo was called 'sick' because of the heavy filtering and alterations.
The side by side shows Madonna with a changed smile, brighter blue eyes and altered skin and make-up.
they’re sick what https://t.co/9btyl5fKjf— ⍨ (@⍨)1617040089.0
Many Twitter users and fans of the famous pop star discussed what this trend did to young, impressionable minds.
@itadoreli These face editing apps really scare me and I worry for the generations growing up seeing this— luna sol (@luna sol)1617083968.0
@axtiee @itadoreli they slimmed her face and changed her nose 😭😭 even changed her lips and teeth— mely⁷ (@mely⁷)1617115318.0
@itadoreli @Iueminous What makes me truly sad is the amount of people in the comments going "shes ugly without the… https://t.co/uk0lbIQGBx— acequeenking (@acequeenking)1617112648.0
@itadoreli I just knew that was a edit when she started to have the underworld movie vampire eyes https://t.co/6uk48FQKEK— SSJ4 dime bag💫🐐 (@SSJ4 dime bag💫🐐)1617154656.0
@itadoreli And y'all wonder why folks have wrecked self-esteem issues nowadays? Because even some of the most beaut… https://t.co/oefasFIseW— (Insert Clever Reference Here) (@(Insert Clever Reference Here))1617160858.0
People are upset with Instagram users like @golden.womenn for offering these edits, let alone asking to be paid for them.
@ivadixit What’s sad is some influencers message these accounts asking for edited photos or sharing the ones of the… https://t.co/QVBI9pN3EZ— Larissa (@Larissa)1604007131.0
It is not new that social media has given young women an unrealistic expectation of beauty.
In 2019, British photographer Rankin gave 15 British girls 5 minutes to photoshop their photos for social media and the majority of changes were narrowing of the nose, enlarged lips and eyes, and some added make-up.
Rankin had this to say:
"It's time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people's self-image."
As beauty standards change and the rise of 'Instagram-face' filters increases, we can expect a shift in self-esteem as a result.