Why your friends look better in photos

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 07 November 2014 | 20.01

Celebrities aren't the only ones cultivating their image online. Source: Supplied

EVERYONE knows that models in magazines do not look as perfect in real life — but ever wonder why some of your friends photograph so well?

These days it might well be worth checking their mobile phone to see if they have downloaded one of the many apps now available to enhance and fix anything that doesn't look "perfect".

Apps such as PhotoWonder and BeautyPlus, enable people to make eyes look larger, face thinner or face "lift", correct skin and erase undereye circles and pimples.

Do you use these apps? Why? Comment below.

BeautyPlus: auto retouch function. Source: Supplied

Original image of news.com.au journalist Rebecca Sullivan Source: Supplied

While graphic designers have long been able to smooth out any imperfections using Photoshop, those without the time and money to master this skill, could only rely on flattering light, makeup and face angle.

But with the rise of beauty apps, celebrities are no longer the only ones who can cultivate their online image.

PhotoWonder and BeautyPlus are now used by more than 100 million people around the world.

Both programs are free and offer a "one-click" function, that will automatically smooth out and highlight certain areas of the face, with varying results.

It's also possible to manually remove undereye circles and blemishes as well as thin the face. The results can be very subtle. In the photos below a small freckle on the right cheek was erased to better illustrate the capability.

PhotoWonder: Larger eye, slimming, acne and undereye circles function used. Source: Supplied

Original image Source: Supplied

But it is also possible to go a little too far in pursuit of perfection.

BeautyPlus: Eyes made larger, face thinner and auto retouch. Source: Supplied

Original image of news.com.au journalist Matt Young. Source: Supplied

Dr Vivienne Lewis, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Canberra, said it was natural for people to want to "touch up" things like pimples in photos, as they were not a feature of their normal look.

"Probably where it becomes a problem is if they are going to great lengths to radically change what they look like," Dr Lewis said.

"It's a delicate balance."

The body image expert said psychologists would be looking at the amount of distress that a person was experiencing and whether it was consuming their time and attention, to gauge whether there was a problem.

"It's not a normal response to see a photo of yourself and feel distress, highly anxious or depressed," she said.

She said if photos were impacting on a person's wellbeing or satisfaction with life, it would probably be a good idea to talk it though with a professional, such as a GP, counsellor or psychologist.

"People might fiddle with apps, and see it as a bit of fun, that's not a worry, but it could be when it's really important to them, if they feel the need to change the way they look or how other people see them," she said.

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