Author Archives: Dolly Church

Dolly is a London-based writer, focusing on the intersection between culture and tech. Her work has been published in The Baffler, Real Life, Hyperallergic and Current Affairs, among others.
Image demonstrating how to make one's own Instagram filter in Spark AR Studio. Against a background that is many shades of purple, the image demonstrates the second step in making a filter. It shows a number of faces, with suggestions for how each might be modified to make a filter. Above these faces, the text for Step 2 reads, "Choose a template or create your own filter from scratch." One of the faces at the end of the middle row is circled in yellow, and the filter being suggested through the highlighting of this face is called "Face Distortion."

Beauty Filters: New Tech, Old Problems

Retaining a youthful appearance is a laborious and painful exercise, often rife with invisible labor. Digital beauty tech has made it much easier. Rather than altering our own faces through cosmetic procedures, we now have a conduit — an online persona — that can easily be touched up with the help of beauty editing apps or filters. This has done little to challenge ageist prejudices but has offered an avenue out of old age in the form of customization. In offering up this tech, the beauty industry can be seen to perform a bait-and-switch, displacing the weight of beauty standards from physical appearance onto our consumer choices. (read more...)