Scholars from National University of Singapore analyzed selfie-editing behavior of 1064 Korean female smartphone users aged 20 to 39. The result demonstrates that people edits their selfies because they want to look better than others or at least look like others based on social comparison, not because they are dissatisfied with their appearance. Thus, their lack of confidence derives from comparing with others. Due to too much exposure on social media, people could see selfies post by celebrities and influencers. Selfies from those people are generally enhanced by professional staff to maintain the image. In addition, selfies with more likes and positive comments are also noticed. Under their influence, people form the idea of a nice selfie subconsciously. In other words, their ideal version of selfies are affected by other selfies on social media. Hence, if the original version were away from others, editing selfies would be an effective solution. “I edit my selfies because no one doesn’t do that. It’s unfair if I don’t edit selfies when everyone does that. Even though my selfies are quite good before editing, I still want to retouch it as I can look better.” Fangchen Wang told me. Qian Wang said something similar,” Everyone do that. If I didn’t edit selfies, it would lead to a tragic result.” Posting selfies on social media seems to be a competition in their words. People who don’t edit selfies will lose the game at the beginning. Indeed, it’s hard for people not to compare with others when they do the same thing on the same platform, especially when it comes to appearance.
Although editing selfies is necessary for some people, there are still many original supporters. Jasmine, who is an active Instagram user, said that “I don’t use editing apps like Facetune or anything like that. …I don’t care about pores and wrinkles. I think that most of the people who see me online are also seeing me offline and they know what I look like.” It’s true that people have same groups of friends online and offline, but some people don’t care about whether they look the same online and offline. They
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- Fall '19
- Copy editing, selfies