THE NEW SELFIE STANDARD: FACETUNE AND THE SHIFT TOWARD EAST ASIAN SELFIE AESTHETICS
Keywords:Image Editing, Social Media, Beauty, CTDA, Walkthrough Analysis
AbstractSince its release in 2013, Facetune has risen to become the top paid photo and video app in the US. In this study, we document that the types of retouching tools Facetune make available mark a more significant shift in the American cultural practice of image editing, signaling an adoption of East Asian attitudes toward beauty standards and the plasticity of the image. Working within the Critical Technocultural Discourse Analysis (CTDA) framework, we track this shift by undertaking a Walkthrough Analysis of the Facetune app. This combination of methods allowed us to examine not only cultural beliefs around the self-image but also the affordances and materiality of the app by directly engaging the interface and technical functions of the app. We found evidence of Facetune pushing certain East Asian beauty ideals that may fall outside of American standards such as the Face resizing features that allow users to adjust nose, eyes, forehead, and lips by size and position. Furthermore, Facetune uses the photo not in its traditional role as a vessel for depicting a certain scene in time, but as a blank canvas on which to produce an ideal digital self. These findings offer a significant contribution in understanding shifting image editing practices online, particularly by highlighting the new technological tools and cultural beliefs that are leading this shift.
How to Cite
Swerzenski, J., & Kim, D. (2021). THE NEW SELFIE STANDARD: FACETUNE AND THE SHIFT TOWARD EAST ASIAN SELFIE AESTHETICS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12249