Have you noticed anything odd about the selfies taken with your new phone? We have.


Have you noticed your selfies are looking particularly fantastic at the moment?

Without changing a single thing about your skincare or beauty routines, that your skin is looking smoother, younger, less blemished and better looking than usual?

Sorry, but it’s not you. It’s your phone and it’s in-built default settings that automatically edit regular human imperfections out of your photos.

This feature isn’t new. People have been noticing smoother selfies on their smart phones since around 2016, but for anyone who has just upgraded to a new phone for the first time in years, it will be new to you.

After blogger Melissa Wells shared her disappointment with how her new android phone filtered out her freckles and fine lines on Instagram, the tech brand issued a statement to Teen Vogue.

“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. 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,” it read.


View this post on Instagram


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. ????????

A post shared by Melissa Wells (@iammelwells) on


Like most settings on your phone, the default camera filter can be switched off or adjusted.


View this post on Instagram


L: selfie mode R: rear facing camera ????????????

A post shared by Kelly James (@kelly.elizabeth.james) on


That is, unless you have Apple’s new phone the iPhone XS. According to Mic, the only way to get around the iPhone XS’ in-built skin smoothing on the front-facing camera is to take your selfies using the camera on the back of your phone (like you would in the good ole days). Obviously, this isn’t ideal because you can’t see how the photo will be framed. Apple are reportedly currently working on a fix.

So you can fiddle with the camera settings on most phones, but in some of the newest ones, an in-built settings will probably still alter aspects of your images slightly (light, colour, background and blurring).

In 2018, our social media feeds are full of highly photoshopped images that depict a digitally altered ideal of beauty. It’s something we have to constantly remind ourselves and think critically about while scrolling through Instagram.

What you do to photos of yourself before posting them online is your business. Everyone has the power to decide how they represent themselves, and slowly, influencers and public figures are starting to be a bit more up front about when their images don’t fully reflect reality.

Smart phones that apply filters as their default camera settings send a message that the ‘Beauty’ filter is the standard to hold ourselves up to.

Ultimately, it comes down to choice and transparency. People are allowed to look their age. People are also allowed to edit their images.

But “not good enough” shouldn’t be the default setting.

How do you feel about the default filter settings on your phone camera?