If you take a selfie with a Samsung phone, you may notice your face looks a little different.
The camera app on the Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Note lines has a “Beauty Face” mode. It activates by default if you use the front-facing camera. In effect, it airbrushes your face and gives you options to make your face look slimmer and your eyes look bigger.
Some beauty bloggers are furious about it.
Mel Wells, the author of “The Goddess Revolution,” sarcastically told her 21,000 followers on Instagram, “Thanks @samsungmobile for the vote of confidence, I think I’ll keep my freckles and imperfections since this is how I look in 3D and this is how all my friends see me in real life.”
“Wow Samsung. When you get a brand new phone and go to take a selfie and realise that the default setting on the front camera is automatically on “Beauty level 8″ which evidently means: seriously airbrushed face. This means everyone who gets a new Samsung phone and flicks the front camera on is automatically being told ‘Hi, we’re Samsung and we think you look way better when we automatically airbrush your selfies for you, x 8!!’ Thanks @samsungmobile for the vote of confidence, I think I’ll keep my freckles and imperfections since this is how I look in 3D and this is how all my friends see me in real life. I hope young girls are buying iPhones instead of Samsungs. (Wait, do iPhones do this too?) To clarify – no apps here – this is Samsung’s DEFAULT FRONT CAMERA SETTING.”
Wells thinks the filter could be damaging to young women, possibly making them think that “clear skin” and a “slim face” equal “beauty.” And by activating when you use the front-facing camera, which is usually used to take selfies, it’s especially potent.
When I tried out the feature, the default “beauty level” was two, not eight. Still, it was enough to brush away any blemishes on my face, even if it did make my skin colour a little weird.
It felt sneaky. I knew something about the way my face looked was off, but only slightly, because it was only on “level two.” And because the feature is activated by default and there’s no indication on the screen that beauty mode is on, I wouldn’t necessarily know that there was a feature fiddling with how may face looked.
Other users, though, think the whole thing is a big misunderstanding between different cultures.
“Samsung is a Korean company so there’s a cultural aspect as well,” shannonkenney commented on Wells’ post. “Their beauty standards are very different and this effect is probably in very high demand.”
“At Samsung we offer a range of camera settings on our mobile phones for our customers to be able to choose to switch on or use,” a Samsung spokesperson told INSIDER. “The beauty setting is one such setting that we know our customers love and has the option of being switched on or turned off completely, depending on personal preference.”
The feature is activated by default. It takes a little fiddling to turn off: You have to hit the “Mode” button from the camera screen, then “smart mode,” and then “beauty face.”