Using filters on selfies to enhance the image and sharing on social media has become a trend now. Over the years, hundreds of filters have been introduced across platforms in order to beautify the images. Google believes that the ‘filter culture’ has been impacting mental health of people in a much negative way, especially for those, who are looking at these pictures with filters. The company said its phones- Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a with 5G and Pixel 5, instead of filters will have retouching tools. Google will turn off these retouching tools by default. However, they can be turned on and will enable users to adjust skin texture, under-eye tone and eye brightness.
According to Vinit Modi, the Product Manager at Google, the company tried to understand the effect of filtered selfies that may impact the wellbeing of people, especially in the cases when filters are turned 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,” he said. The default filters enhance the image and in some cases may set a beauty standard that some people compare themselves against.
The company further stressed that “Enhancement,” “beautification,” “touch up” of the images means that users are improving or correcting their looks, thus, setting of standards for some people. This can lead to some people believing in a different idea of beauty that has been shown in an image. The tools in Pixel phones as “Face retouching,” are now being further updated so that it reflects alterations.