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Perfect Me & Butterfly Pretty – (Articles from the Cultural Translator)

What it is: A free “body editor” app that promises to “perfect” and “beautify” one’s appearance in photos and videos (including live videos).  Not good. 

 Why it’s gross: The app doesn’t just remove “blemishes” or make waists thinner, it also adds tattoos, completely alters face shape, changes skin tone, and makes legs look longer, all in real-time. One fitness influencer tried the app and candidly remarked that she “felt awful” once she saw her real face again, highlighting how easily the app can distort a user’s perception of themselves and what’s beautiful. But even if your teens haven’t used this app or one similar (like FaceTune), they’re still being influenced by it, since most of the images and videos they see on social media are edited in one way or another. This is a good reminder that teens need frequent encouragement that they are beautiful exactly as they are; they don’t need “perfecting,” “editing,” “fixing,” or “touching up.”

Butterfly Pretty
What it is: With in-person contact extremely low, many are ditching their makeup routines. But they’re not necessarily going au naturel either. 
Why it’s not pretty: Because people mainly see each other via social media right now, there seems to be no use in taking the time to apply makeup for a single photo or for a 15-minute livestream—especially when there are AR filters like “Butterfly Pretty” that give the appearance of makeup. Ranging from over-the-top to appearance altering to “barely there,” these filters supposedly “enhance” one’s appearance, all at the touch of a button. In essence, they’re influencing our perception of beauty in subtle ways, teaching teenagers that beauty is not innate, but achieved. And with more “beauty” companies looking to invest in developing filters for purchase, it will become harder to see the value or immense beauty in a non-enhanced face. Now more than ever, they need to hear that they are beautiful exactly as they are.

The Cultural Translator (Axis) helps caring adults navigate teen culture through a biblical lens to equip them for meaningful conversations that build lifelong connections.