Just another (retouched) face

A new camera allows you to digitally retouch photos, remove blemishes or add makeup instantly.

Katie Wielgos

Have you ever looked at a picture of a gorgeous celebrity and said, “I wish I could look like them”? Or looked through the “Celebrities without makeup” sections in magazines or tabloids and reacted with pure shock?

We have that kind of reaction because these celebrities look nothing like what their “normal” pictures show. We buy into this skewed image of whatâÄôs beautiful. Now, the public no longer has to look at strangersâÄô beautiful retouched faces âÄî they can look at their own.

With the recent invention of the Lumix DMC-FP7, Panasonic makes it possible for regular people to have the “star treatment.” But I wonâÄôt be treating myself to this new invention, because it reinforces the idea that you canâÄôt be beautiful without technology playing a part.

Costing a little more than $200, this camera is capable of retouching faces directly from the camera. It has a setting called “clear skin,” which can remove blemishes and wrinkles. This camera can also remove shine from your face and whiten teeth.

And thereâÄôs more. The DMC-FP7 can be a virtual makeup artist by applying foundation and eye shadow and enhancing lip color. Gee, thanks, Panasonic. ItâÄôs not like I could buy actual makeup at a convenience store.

However, our idea of beauty is so skewed that people think they need the makeup and retouching to be attractive. We can be our own toughest critic, and when we compare our pictures to celebritiesâÄô pictures, it only makes us feel worse about ourselves. The creation of this camera only reinforces the idea that we canâÄôt be beautiful without some digital help and distorts reality by changing how we think a person should look.

Speaking fondly of this new and improved digital camera, David Briganti, senior product manager for imaging at Panasonic says the Lumix DMC-FP7 is supposed to be “fun and encourage photographic creativity.”

What this camera does is not creative âÄî it simply changes our faces. The creative part of taking a picture is the act itself âÄî what pictures you take, what angles you take them at, how the people in the picture pose. I would hope that someone could look past an insignificant zit on someoneâÄôs face if a picture is interesting and appealing.

By inventing this product, Panasonic encourages superficially altering facial features to make oneself look better. Panasonic is playing into the cultural obsession with a specific standard of “normal” physical beauty. Instead of telling people to embrace their own beauty, they are saying “Think youâÄôre not attractive enough? We can help.”

Since our culture is so obsessed with physical attractiveness, it makes sense for Panasonic to invent a digital camera that caters to our demands. We want to be more attractive to feel better about ourselves.

The camera has not yet been released. But no matter how it sells or the reviews it gets, IâÄôll stick with my not-as-high-tech digital camera that uploads my not-so-digitally-retouched photos. I could care less if the flash brightens my face, making me appear luminescent.

However, there are those who do care if their picture didnâÄôt turn out quite how they expected. I have a simple, money-saving solution: If a photo is that unbearable, untag yourself or donâÄôt upload it at all.

But I say embrace whatever attractiveness level youâÄôre rocking. At least youâÄôll know you donâÄôt need smoke and mirrors to make yourself look decent.

They say the camera doesnâÄôt lie, and for people not being digitally retouched, that may be true. But for those who purchase the Lumix DMC-FP7, the camera will do anything but tell the truth.