What is SkinneePix?
When two women in Arizona got together and talked about taking selfies, the end result was a company called “PrettySmartWomen” and an app called “SkinneePix“. This app promises to reduce the appearance of weight in your face up to 15 pounds. Users can customize their virtual “weight loss” and post the picture they think looks best. The founders claim that the purpose behind the app is to provide inspiration to those trying to reach a target weight loss goal by showing them what they can look like.
Understandably, critics jumped up as soon as the app hit iTunes saying that there is little good about promoting a way to “Photoshop” real life. The trend of selfies is coming under a lot of fire lately, but how much of the worry about what it can do to a person’s mental health is really true? Is there any harm in using apps like SkinneePix or filters of make yourself look better or more ideal in your photos? Is it a matter of choice and self expression or self hate? Who gets to make that determination?
What are the pros of taking selfies?
Before you jump on the wagon and say there are no benefits to taking selfies, there are some very real ones to it. The art of taking a self-portrait has been something used for centuries as a way of documenting where you are in life, showing growth, or depicting yourself as you want to be. Those founders of this app were pretty smart in thinking that an app like SkinneePix could serve as a motivator for weight loss. It can be very motivating to see what your hard work can bring before you start your weight loss journey.
In today’s age, the selfie has become much more for people than just a photo. You could blame that on this being the “age of the celebrity,” but it is a reaction to living a life where more and more people feel like they don’t count. Selfies can be a way of proving you are significant and unique in a world that views you mostly as a number or a consumer. While there are lots of global issues involved in that last statement, the bottom-line is that for some a selfie can simply help you feel better in terms of personal self expression.
What are the cons of selfies?
Before we get into the potential problems that selfies can cause, or the disorders they may be symptomatic off; there is one con of taking and posting selfies that must be identified first. People who take and post selfies are sometimes seen as either narcissist or lacking self-esteem. The occasional selfie is socially acceptable, but more than one a day is typically not. Rightly or wrongly, you can’t fault a whole nation raised on criminal and psychological dramas as entertainment for trying to read “self-absorbed” behavior as a sign of something amiss compared to just fun way to pass the time. That is just how many people’s brains work. We are trained to hate before we celebrate. Many psychologists are starting to wonder if too many selfies can then turn into actual self-esteem or mental health problems. Sometimes, obsessive selfies can be a symptom of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
How to have fun with selfies
None of this means that you should stop taking or posting selfies, but that you should be aware that they are only meant to be taken and shared for fun. An image of you that is posted isn’t going to really project the sum of who you are. In fact, it won’t even look like you in real life if you are using a lot of filters or things to alter your image. Selfies should be snapshots of your life that you chose to share with the world, not a lifestyle or hobby unless you want to make it your art (or you are a journalist or blogger).
The Verdict on SkinneePix
I don’t think this app is harmful, however your health goals should be reflected in your health, not your appearance. Photographs do add the appearance of more weight to a person. That is a fact. It is just a function of the lens and the reproduction. An app like SkinneePix can be useful as a tool to inspire you to weight loss, but it is just as effective to use goal statements, journaling and positive affirmations. You can also find a healthy hero you want to be like, not just look like, and use their example for inspiration. Focus on building a healthy lifestyle and you can’t go wrong.