The Pro’s and Con’s of photo editing apps 

    I’m not the type of person to be really into makeup. My mother only ever wears foundation and lip stick, and that’s all I ever saw when I was growing up. I didn’t even know you are supposed to put primer on before foundation until like a year ago. Needless to say when it comes to make up I can be clueless, but I’m learning.

     Lately I’ve been playing around with photo editing app’s. I have been obsessed with making my photos look more professional because I don’t have a good camera right now. Majority of my pictures are taken on my iPhone 5s and the camera is not totally up to my standards. I took a lot of photography classes back in the day so I’m really critical of the type of pic’ s the iPhone produces. I’m also very concerned with my layout looking good. This is sometimes hard for me to do because my computer has been on the Fritz. So pretty much everything I do is done through my iPhone.

  
   Some of the apps that I’ve Been using lately are VSCO short for visual supply company. This app has a large slew of filters that can be adjusted with their editing tools. I use Moldiv as a collage/photo editor. They have some really great magazine layouts. I use Repix when I feeling artsy. It’s half painting app half photo editor. Last but not least perfect365. This app right here is a special one. You can essentially completely alter your appearance. It’s a makeup app that if you use it correctly you can make a seamless transformation. Put all of these apps together and if you tweak them just so your iPhone photos will look like you used a $800 dollar camera. I’m still working on my technique.

  
   Some of the apps I’ve used in the past are Picplay, Pic Jointer, Camu, InstaVid video and photo collage, Snapseed, LiveCollage, Kia Xia photo collage maker. I went through a lot of apps on my pursuit to find the best. Now that I’ve assembled what I feel is my dream team of apps I’ve come up with my pro’s and con’s of photo retouching.

  

Pro

   Let’s face it if you’re working with a sub par camera your photos can come out poorly lit, heavily pixelated, grainy, and out of focused. For the most part I use most of these apps to counteract or undo poor visuals. I’ve found that most people online won’t take you seriously if your pictures look unprofessional. 

   

    Sometimes you can’t reverse the effects of a bad photo but you can add filters that can make it look artsy, so no one can see the bad effects. If your photo is badly lit you can use tools on a lot of these app’s to create faux lighting. An older app I use to use called snapseed even has the tools to burn certain parts of your pictures that have to much light. That app especially reminded me of being in the darkroom with my burning tools. Basically most of these apps make photo editing easy with out all the work, or expense.

  

Con

   Ok now I’m really going to get into the psychological aspect. Perfect365 is an amazing app that meticulously changes a bad face day.  However it makes me extremely concerned and self-conscious. With this app you can create the effects of a full face of make up. You can lighten your skin tone, slime down your face and nose. Widen your eyes, while removing bags, soften your skin, remove blemishes. If you haven’t done your eyebrows in a while you can darken and arch them. If your eyelashes are to short you can darken and elongate them. You can deepen your smile, enlarge your lips, Whitten your teeth, and widden your eyes while making them appear whiter or just change the color altogether. You can even add fake hair.

  
   When I first downloaded this app I did it as a joke to make Bride of Frankenstein like monstrosities. I even deleted it once. But as I explored and fiddled with the app more I became better at marking the pictures look more realistic. That’s when the trouble started. Whenever I posted an edited picture Vs a none edited one I got an overwhelmingly favorable response from the edited pics. The comments are usually praising me for my beautiful skin and youthful glow. When I look at the before pic’s I feel like I look old, and tired. I thought I looked fine before the app, but now I find myself putting on more make up these days. All my adult life people have been going on about how I look so young. When I look at myself through the app I feel like I look haggard. I’ve been using this app for a year now and I have to say it is definitely chipping away at my self-esteem. I know I can’t be the only one that feels this way?

   When you step back and look at it from a bigger standpoint the app was created with someone else’s beauty standards. These standards are not the law of beauty, but it’s easy to get caught up into thinking it is. It’s easy to look at yourself through another’s eyes and feel like your not good enough. What I think is needed is the confidence in one’s unique beauty. You should know your beauty lives inside and out. When you know this no one or thing can waver your self-assurance. I’m not quite there yet. Recently a new male employee at one of my jobs had never seen me without glasses. He told me I looked terrible without them. He claimed I looked so tired despite me wearing makeup, and I should never go without wearing them. Now I had not really been wearing glasses long. I had contacts since high school. I knew I looked fine. No one had ever told me I looked bad before. When I looked in the mirror I liked what I saw, but I let someone’s criticism make me think I needed to look better. I never even thought about how this dude was always making a pass at me and getting mad when I tell him to back off I’m married. I never considered that he probably wanted to just make me feel bad. So I started researching how to get ride of bags and dark circles like a idiot thinking what others thought mattered. Sometimes the masses will try to bring you down because they are jealous.
   My husband does not feel he should tell me I look pretty. He thinks I should know it and not need him to tell me. So he rarely comments on my appearance even when I ask. The problem with that philosophy is human being are vain. And despite the fact that we should be able to assure ourselves of our inner beauty we rely on others for validation. Thus comes the invention of the selfie. Society is caught up In hiding our flaws to prove we are the best through the amount of likes we get. 

  
   App’s like these are fun, and definitely can hide a bad skin day. But if we all get caught up into trying to look perfect what happens to the unique person inside? Young girls and women will get caught up competing with something that’s not real. Men will have unrealistic expectations of beauty. Not to mention you can really cat fish someone into thinking your a model. Would you want to live In a world where nothing is real and no one is truly themselves? I think we really need to keep an eye on who we are inside, and not let apps and social media dictate beauty standards. 

  

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Does Racial-bias-effect-Google’s-algorithm? 

 
Last night or early in the a.m. I received a text from my big sister. 

       
     I had just read about a married couple being used in a viral meme that falsely depicted their relationship. Worried and curious I grabbed my kindle and launched the Facebook app. The notification icon lit up and I saw my big sisters post. She is featured in a meme that depicts African-American hair as unprofessional for the workplace in a Google search. Here are her two cents. Check it out.   

  

     
  

      

  

 
 

     Now in some ways I completely understand the algorithm explanation. However, as my sister pointed out the blogs written by black women more than likely has the phrase professional hair in it too. I call foul on this excuse.

     I don’t have proof but a month ago I did a search on Google for natural hairstyles. My search results contained a Bevy of pictures of Caucasian women. I thought OK… maybe I should be more specific. Then searched  natural hairstyles for African-American women. Majority of the picture still were of Caucasian women. I should’ve took a picture right when it happened. I was on the train on my way to work. When I re-did the search later on that night I got pictures of African-American women. 

    It may have been because I was on my way to downtown Chicago and I was in a predominantly Caucasian area. When I re-did the search I was home on the southside again. I just know it confused  me very much. Why would my search results change based off of the area that I’m in? Some people may use the reasoning that african-Americans are a minority so we may not come up as often in searchers. However the purpose of the search engines are to give you the most accurate results. I feel that regardless of where you are if you search for something that is for African-Americans you should get African-American result. I Also feel that no matter what ethnic group out number the other the search results should show a vast array of ethnic groups. 

    I feel it was very suspicious that the unprofessional hairstyles in a workplace search contained almost only African-American women and vice versa for Caucasian women. I believe it speaks volumes of how society tries to oppress African Americans and other ethnic groups. They try to brainwash us into thinking our hair and features are not beautiful. The best way to keep perpetuating that way of thinking is to have the power and means to control what we all see as beauty. If it seems like the majority thinks that beauty is light skin, straight hair the masses will except it as so because there is nothing to contradict that thought. As diverse as America is it seems too easy to say this is a result of search algorithms. What are your thoughts?