I recently wrote about a popular Snapchat craze that can be extremely detrimental to your mental health, and I’m back with another you should steer clear of if you’re on the path to self-love. Slim and Skinny that allows users to edit their photos to slim certain parts of their body, such as their stomach, face, arms, or legs. When I heard about this concept, I was shocked that somebody actually approved it.
With the spiraling self-esteem problem that society is currently facing due to a lack of representation of different body types in the media, the last thing we need is an app that reinforces the idea that being unhealthily skinny is ideal.
Young girls already have to see airbrushed models on the cover of every magazine; now they will have to watch their friends Photoshop themselves to oblivion as they sit idly by feeling inferior in comparison. This app teaches us the false message that our natural bodies aren’t good enough and require editing to be socially acceptable.
News flash: Not all of us like ourselves better with fewer pounds.
Everybody’s body is perfect just the way it is, and the Slim and Skinny app encourages us to either hate ourselves or love a version of ourselves that’s not even real. The creators of the app claim that it is intended to be used as a motivational tool for people who are trying to lose weight; the app can show them results to work towards. However, this is just cheating yourself.
Losing weight to improve your health is admirable; doing it to reach an impossible standard on a phone screen is not. It is also very likely that people will resort to unhealthy weight loss techniques in order to look like the digital versions of themselves.
This app is specifically aimed toward selfies. I know as soon as you read that word, you either rolled your eyes or smiled. While selfies are a bit overused, I think they’re fun outlets to express yourself and capture a moment when you feel confident! Whatever your relationship with selfies may be, they should be about loving yourself, not wanting to change your appearance.
For those of us on a body positive journey, this app is extremely hurtful to our progress.
Skinny is not necessarily more attractive, and your pictures don’t require any editing before posting. One of the downsides of social media is the unrealistic idea that everybody lives a perfect life. The thing about apps like Instagram and Twitter is that the user can control what parts of their life they post, and these moments are typically the high points.
The irony is that the best parts of us aren’t even present in photos: the way we laugh when we’re with our friends, how we talk about the activities we’re passionate about, and how we care for others. None of these qualities can be captured in a picture. The people we surround ourselves with see our best selves every single day. To the people are arguing that Skinnifying apps are meant as tools to improve photos for post-ability and therefore get more likes and retweets: You’re not fooling anyone.
The creators of this app don’t realize the damage they have caused.
I’m currently in a choir performance called Broadway Under the Stars that is put on annually at my high school. This show is very professional and often has top-notch costumes brought in for each set. This year, I auditioned and earned a spot in the advanced all-female show choir that is only active during Broadway Under the Stars season and disbands after the final performance. I’m one of the only plus-size girls in it. But that’s a story for another time.
At the dress rehearsal, a photo was taken of me in a costume that is unbelievably unflattering for my body type. I wanted to post it to advertise the show, but I hated how my stomach was displayed in the outfit. So, I did something I am deeply ashamed of: I downloaded the Slim and Skinny app and edited the photo. Then I did something I am deeply proud of: I deleted the app and the new photo.
I don’t know what happened to me that made me so willing to change my body. No, that picture was not the best one of me out there. But that girl in the costume is still me. That is what I look like, and I’m trying to own that.
I love my body, but given the opportunity to alter it, I cracked and attempted to smooth it out. This is just proof that regardless of how many articles I write about body image, I’m still on this path myself and learning as I go along. Self-love isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.
I encourage you to steer clear of Skinnifying apps, no matter how tempting they may seem.
It’s not worth the doubt and insecurity you may feel afterward. Post photos that truly capture who you are- scars, stretch marks, and weight included.
Also published on Medium.