A quick trim at the hips. A little shave off the thigh. These days, thanks to photo-editing apps that go even farther than an Instagram filter, it’s easier than ever to edit your photos to perfection.
But supermodel Chrissy Teigen, for one, is done with all the tweaking, she said on Friday’s airing of The Meredith Veira Show. “We’ve forgotten what normal people look like now. The standard is so ridiculous,” she explained.
The subject of retouching apps came up when Veira asked the 29-year-old about one of her recent snaps that went viral: A selfie shows off some leg bruises that Teigen got from bumping into kitchen cabinets while working on a new cookbook—as well as the stretch marks on her inner thighs. (“Stretchies say hi!” she wrote in the caption.)
“I have those apps, the Facetune, those Photoshopping ones, and I just didn’t feel like doing it anymore,” Teigen explained to Veira, “and I’m never doing it again.”
In addition to Facetune (which offers to brighten your teeth and “reshape” your expression, among other fixes), there are dozens more apps that anyone can use to retouch a photo. They do everything from apply makeup to tame flyaways to whittle your waist.
“I mean, people are nip-tucking [their pictures],” Teigen continued. “It’s gotten to a point where they’re not smoothing their skin anymore, they are actually changing the shape of their body.”
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A handful of models and celebrities—from Lindsay Lohan to Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé—have been accused of editing the images they share after followers spotted telltale clues like a curved door or a distorted carpet pattern.
“When you’re fixing yourself so much, it’s so unfair,” Teigen added about the incessant editing. She went on to warn viewers that models don’t actually look as “perfect” in real life as they do on social media: “I’ve seen these women in person, they are not like that. Please know that. I’ve shot in barely anything with them, and it’s just amazing what people do to tweak themselves.”
But it’s not just famous women who are downloading these apps. Facetune alone has more than 100,000 downloads on Google Play. Everyone wants to look their best—but is the result of all the editing worth it?
Although there hasn’t been much research on Instagram’s emotional consequences yet, using Facebook has been linked with a decline in happiness and life satisfaction. And a study published this month in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology suggests why the social networking site is associated with depressive symptoms: it’s all those comparisons we make between ourselves and our “friends,” as we scroll through the highlight reels of their lives. It seems fair to assume that Instagram (with its carefully curated streams of filtered images) would have a similar effect on our self-esteem, if not worse.
Don’t get us wrong: We’re all for sharing and celebrating the moments in our lives that make us feel joyful and proud. But we think Teigen’s got the right idea: If every one of us could promise to keep it real with more honest, unedited photos, we may all find it a little easier to feel joyful and proud in our very own skin.