Let Me Take A [Skinnier] #Selfie

Let’s be honest. Selfies aren’t always the most flattering pictures but they can be improved with a little touch-up editing or a trip through Photoshop.  Now there’s a skinnified selfie app that, for only a dollar, will make you look thinner in your selfies.

The SkinneePix iPhone app created by PrettySmartWomen promises that it will slim you down to the tune of 15 pounds in your selfies.  And the skinnified selfie app is creating an uproar.

Skinnee Pix Screenshot

Are Selfies Bad For You?

None of us are above being criticized for taking an occasional – or frequent – selfie.  Remember the controversy surrounding President Obama’s selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral?

Obama selfie

Flickr photo by John Robert Mallernee

There are more than 31 million pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #selfie.  Most of these pics aren’t celebrities.  The #selfies are just ordinary people that want to control how they look on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.  Through social media and selfies we all have the ability to present a persona that may not be accurate or even real.

We snap a picture when we look our best, do a little editing and throw it up on social media as though it is completely spontaneous.  The result is a ton of ‘likes’ that makes us feel good about the way we look.

The downside is the likes don’t always come. For some people, not getting a positive response, or even worse, if the selfie prompts negative comments, can be detrimental to their well-being. Anti-selfie advocates believe that an unhealthy obsession with selfies can result in low self-esteem and a poor body image.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Selfies

Some experts believe there is a link between selfies and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  Psychiatrist Dr. David Veal says that two out of three of the patients who come to see him with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have a compulsion to take selfies.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a chronic mental health condition where the afflicted obsesses over perceived flaws with their body.

In an article for PolicyMic, Dr. Veal describes an extreme case where a patient, Danny Bowman, “spent up to 10 hours a day taking hundreds of selfies in a futile attempt to capture the perfect photo”. Bowman quit going to school, started fighting with his parents and eventually tried to commit suicide.

Dr. Veal recognizes that this is an extreme example, but there are no doubt thousands of more less-severe cases of selfie obsession that no one is aware of.  You have to wonder if the SkinneePix app could exacerbate the problem.

Selfies Are Mostly For Fun

If you take a look at the popularity of Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest you know that the picture craze isn’t going anywhere for a while.  For the most part selfies are entertaining and fun. Even babies and animals are getting in on the selfie action.

Baby Selfie

Flickr photo by Alexis Rose

The folks that think that the Skinnee Pix iPhone app is going to have dire effects on young women’s self-esteem may be getting a bit carried away.  So far, the reviews posted at the app store aren’t all that stellar.  Reviewers go from saying the app is “brilliant” to “don’t waste your dollar”.  Others post that the app makes your face looks ‘unrealistic’ and ‘jagged around the edges’ and not necessarily skinnier.

Like everything, the SkinneePix app will come and go and something else will be there to takes its place.  We’ll have to wait to see what that something is.

But first, let me take a #SELFIE.

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