Whether you knew this or not, Google claims that many cameras are secretly applying filters to your selfies, making you prettier than you actually are. I always thought that might be a good thing, but according to recent research done, it’s bad for our wellbeing. Dang it. To counteract this, Google is making a few changes for its photo editing experience, adding transparency to ensure people know when a photo has been touched up.
For background, check this out.
We set out to better understand the effect filtered selfies might have on people’s wellbeing—especially when filters are on by default. We conducted multiple studies and spoke with child and mental health experts from around the world, and found that when you’re not aware that a camera or photo app has applied a filter, the photos can negatively impact mental wellbeing. These default filters can quietly set a beauty standard that some people compare themselves against.
Now, Google is all about the digital wellbeing, so in order to do some good, face retouching options will be available in the camera app, but turned off by default on the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. Additionally, in an upcoming update, users will see value-free and descriptive icons/labels for face retouching options. If a user chooses to use face retouching effects, they’ll see more information about how each setting is applied and what changes it makes to the image.
Yay, now I can’t help but see my imperfect skin. Thanks, Google.