Creative Project- Artist’s Statement

The topic of my final project is <Filters/Photoshop’s effect on self-esteem>, and I believe that the ability to edit photos easily through photoshop applications has turned its users into thinking that they should look like the filtered/photoshopped photos, not what they look like in real life. Me and my friends are users of various photoshop apps such as ‘facetune’, ‘makeup plus’, and ‘photo wonder’. When I talk to my friends about photoshop and the process of uploading photos on instagram/other social media apps, we all agree that our representation on social media is ‘what we want to be/look like’, whereas (we think that) our real selves are ‘less attractive/beautiful’.

For my creative project, I wanted to try putting my unedited photos on social media. I made a new account named @filtered_vs_reality and posted before-and-after photos that I found in my camera album. (All photos are taken by me) First, I posted the perfect, ready-for-insta photos which I have edited by putting filters and cropping in the perfect proportion. Next to that, I also uploaded the original photos or photos of the same object/place that I took, which represents the ‘reality’.

For instance, I posted pictures of Disneyland that I have taken during the break and compared it with photos without the filters. I also uploaded pictures of my dog as well as my doll with/without filters. Lastly, I uploaded before-and-after photos of me that I have edited using the Facetune app. I also posted videos of the process of editing it using features such as whiten/ smooth/ details/ reshape, which allows me to ‘reshape’ my face and body as well as make my skin ‘perfectly smooth’.

By posting the before-photoshop pictures, I wanted to communicate that what we see on social media is not always genuine. A lot of people, including myself, see other people’s photos on social media and think that their lives are better/that they are prettier, and happier, which leads to loss of self-confidence. However, that is not the case, because what we see on social media are carefully crafted moments of people’s lives. This project was meaningful because it was a chance to me to see for myself that I should not lose confidence because of the difference between my real self and what I look like on social media.

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