Woman Speaks Out Against Default Phone Setting That Airbrushes Selfies

Samsung phone users may notice something a little different about their selfies. This happened to author and blogger Mel Wells, who noticed that every photo she took of herself automatically airbrushed her face. According to People, Wells posted two selfies to her Instagram that showed how her once freckled face was edited to be completely freckle-free. "Wow Samsung," she wrote in the caption of the photo. "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."
The airbrush setting is one that can be turned off, but it is the phone's default front camera setting, something that concerned Wells. "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!!" she wrote. Adding, "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." While some of her followers questioned why she didn't just turn the setting off, Wells made it clear in a second Instagram post picked up by Cosmo UK that this was about more than a setting, this was about woman loving who they are, flaws and all.

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

Samsung responded to the controversy in a statement to Teen Vogue, explaining that this filter option happens to be a favourite among its customers: "At Samsung we offer a range of camera settings on our mobile phones for our customers to be able to choose to switch on or use. The beauty setting is one such setting that we know our customers love and has the option of being switched on or turned off completely, depending on personal preference."

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