We all know that Snapchat's filters are the best part of the app, with new ones released every few days. The filters can transform users into hilarious versions of themselves and even set the best lighting for a flawless selfie.
But it seems like Snapchat doesn't always think twice before releasing certain filters. The messaging app recently received backlash after releasing a Bob Marley filter, which many criticized for being a digital form of blackface.
It appears like the company hasn't learned its lesson because it is now under fire again for changing the color of the user's skin.
Snapchat is being slammed by users for its filters that are whitewashing their faces.
The trend can be dated back to when Snapchat first released its Coachella filter that has soft, yet bright lighting and puts a crown of flowers on the user's head. There are two ways to look at the results of this filter: either you feel like it makes you look amazing (which is probably why so many people have shared selfies of themselves with this filter), or you are bothered by the fact it lightens your eyes and whitens your skin tone.
idk why snapchat filters whitewash so much but im having fun pic.twitter.com/fIUdHI6G1M
— Pleiades (@oracleofvenus) April 23, 2016
snapchat needs to make a smoothing filter that isnt whitewashing. like yesterday — ain't no wifey (@TXMaaaade) April 20, 2016
Lol so they try put flowers on top of the face to distract from the fact that it's a skin lightening feature
Snapchat you're not slick
— Dan Soff [JOKUZA] (@Swagadore) May 8, 2016
No matter how you feel about the app, it's obvious that it does change the user's skin tone. But the filter does lighten everything in the photo's frame. Since it's not just the user's face that appears whiter, it could just be an innocent case of using a really strong flash to achieve this look. Then again this is not the only filter guilty of whitewashing: Snapchat recently rolled out a filter (that is now gone) that gave the user stars in their hair. The filter also gave users a lighter complexion although it wasn't as noticeable as the flower crown filter.
A video posted by Kim Kardashian Snapchats (@kimmysnapchats) on May 14, 2016 at 4:36pm PDT
The filters that featured cartoon-like makeup with fake tears was also accused by users of making them look more white than they naturally are. Some users also slammed Snapchat for the filters that gave them blue eyes.
There was also a filter that gave the user a gold crown like a god or goddess with gold sparkles that lightened the user's eyes and face, seemed to slim the nose and plump the lips. However, this one too can be argued as just being caused by the specific lighting used to reach this effect.
It's hard to determine where Snapchat should draw the line when it comes to race and its filters. Of course users want filters that give them smooth skin and have interesting and flattering effects, but that means that can't be a one-size-fits-all approach.
Photo: Justien Van Zele | Flickr