James Charels Facetune

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In today’s quickly evolving society, human beings have changed the definition of perfection countless times. From Greco-Roman civilizations prizing symmetry above all else to advertisements of the Victorian Era lauding the benefits of a tiny waist, beauty standards are constantly evolving.

As we strive for pure perfection, new ways to achieve such unattainable standards inevitably come around at a cheaper price. Rather than turning to foreign surgeons and seemingly harmless home remedies like we did in the past, today, we call on quick-fix Photoshop apps such as Facetune.

James Charles Facetune

Facetune, an editing app popularized by many social media influencers such as the Kardashians, was released on iOS devices in March of 2013 with the sequel, Facetune2, following in February of 2016. According to the App Store description, “Professional photographers and graphic designers constantly photoshop models to perfection, and now so can you! Without the expensive price tag or complicated tools, Facetune gives you the ability to retouch and add artistic flair to selfies and portraits with ease, from the convenience of your iPhone.” Facetune users can make small adjustments to their selfies, such as removing flyaway hair and making jewelry appear shinier, or make larger and more drastic adjustments such as smoothing their skin and slimming their bodies.

Notable Facetune users include YouTuber and beauty guru James Charles and influencer Tana Mongeau, both of whom are outspoken about their use of the controversial app to “improve” their appearances. Critically, both of these influencers also cater to young audiences—middle schoolers and underclassmen in high school—who may be easily swayed by their idols’ advocacy for an app that has faced increasing criticism in recent years, and for good reason.

As younger generations come along, there is no way to avoid new technology and the impossible standards society imposes on its members. Young girls and women are especially susceptible to the negative effects of these standards, resulting in low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, and an increase in eating disorders. Applications like Facetune simply perpetuate these standards; one common criticism of Facetune is that after using it, every person looks the same in their photos—every person using it has chosen to alter their image to adhere more closely to accepted standards of beauty, which are often exclusionary and harmful. As people strive to become the “Facetuned” version of themselves, they lose the self that they have grown to love and accept as they mature. Facetune allows its users to create a digital persona that has almost nothing to do with their actual selves.


One unintended side effect of our increasingly interconnected world? Evolving beauty standards which often influence our own self-perception and can cause us to lose confidence in our appearances. Apps like Facetune have stepped in to fill this void by allowing its users to alter their images in the virtual world; however, instead of improving users’ self-confidence, such apps actually only cause more harm to their users as they lose track of their truest selves in favor of a manufactured image.

James Charles Facetune Tutorial


Facetune App That James Charles Uses

Technology: As editing software becomes more and more advanced, it will become easier for the average person to make professional-looking edits to their own person, and these edits will be harder to spot as fake. Such is the danger of deepfakes.

James Charles Facetune Video

Beauty Standards: In the past, beauty standards have varied dramatically across the world, with different societies prizing different traits. However, with the advent of the Internet, beauty standards have become increasingly similar across the globe—often to the detriment of those who don’t adhere to the approved mold.