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‘Selfie Harm’ Shows How Youths Would Ideally Edit Themselves For Social Media
By Izza Sofia, 11 Feb 2019
Images by Rankin and featured with permission
A new project titled Selfie Harm by British photographer Rankin explores the disturbing nature of photo retouching tools.
The project under the Visual Diet showcase features the images of 15 adolescents, who had their selfies taken and returned to them to for retouching. They were invited to edit and filter their photos to their satisfaction over five minutes, using any app easily available on any smartphone, before uploading these to social media.
The end products give valuable and interesting insights into each participant’s personal idea of perfection. The before and after photos are displayed side by side, with the real beauty of youth juxtaposed next to the perceived, enhanced versions. The stark differences highlight how society has influenced adolescents’ perceptions of beauty.
Rankin notes that social media has created a brand out of everyone, and has generated an era of two dimensional personas between the real world and the internet.
The ease of editing, coupled with the glut of celebrities and influencers putting out unrealistic beauty ideals, are a recipe for disaster. As the young emulate their idols, it creates a generation living in constant fear of missing out, grief, increased anxiety and Snapchat dysmorphia. Social media has truly caused a damaging effect on the youth of society.
Visual Diet—launched by advertising agency M&C Saatchi, Rankin and visual artist agency MTArt—discusses the effects of social media and the ensuing imagery distortion on mental health. This presents one of the most pressing issues of today’s world, as thousands of images are fed to people daily, with few considering its impact on mental health.
As part of the campaign, Rankin and Marine Tanguy of MTArt Agency will also share more about the subject at a TEDx talk entitled ‘How Social Media Visuals Affect Our Minds’. It includes an in-agency exhibition of five artists on the Visual Diet website, where viewers can vote if the images create a positive or negative impact on them. M&C Saatchi will also develop a digital poster that reads the reactions of passers-by, based on images presented in front of them.
[via LBBOnline, images by Rankin and featured with permission]
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