are the “pretty” snapchat filters just making you look whiter?

Some users are complaining that the app is reinforcing a Eurocentric notion of beauty.

by Wendy Syfret
17 May 2016, 11:51am

Image via @mangiferin

For an app designed to let you send pictures of yourself as a dog to your friends, Snapchat has really become a window into public prejudice. This year it has already been criticized for a blackface filter (that was supposed to make you look like Bob Marley) and been central in an online slut shaming conversation sparked by its Coachella flower crown filter.

User's most recent concern is with the way the app interprets and projects beauty through its "pretty" filters. These options — which include the infamous flower crown — generally smooth skin and lightly warp faces. But as many on Twitter point out, some also lighten skin and may reinforce Eurocentric beauty tropes. Skin is smoothed, eyes made larger, noses narrowed and jaws thinned — all uncomfortable reminders of how rooted our idea of conventional beauty is with whiteness.


Text Wendy Syfret
Image via @mangiferin

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