Faceapp: Curiosity, temptation and perfection

My laziness is usually so potent, that even though I intend on jumping on a trend bandwagon, it never comes into realization. But this week, that was not the case, this week curiosity got the better of me and I downloaded  Faceapp. A part of me thought this would be a great opportunity to face my fear or aging and wrinkles, or at least know what I would look like if the Earth and I are unable to survive another 50 years.

It took a while for this to actually work out; from my experience with this, the app only works at around 4 am in the morning; i suppose there’s too much traffic at other times of the day.

Here’s me, I’ll have to wait another 50 years to assess the app’s predictive validity. But from an eyeball test, I feel like I do look some aged relative – I just can’t put together who. While I am not eagerly looking forward to those wrinkles, I still do look fine, I can  deal with it.


Unfortunately my curiosity didn’t stop there, and I tried 2 more filters.


My first reaction was ‘oh my God! Can I contour my face with make-up and look like this?’ Does app show my beauty potential fulfilled?

The articles I read about people getting surgery to look like their Instagram self finally made sense; the filters, the Photoshop, the blurring, it all made sense. It’s tempting to give in, when prettiness is just a tap away.

On the other hand, I’ve learned that I should make comparisons with caution: the sage saying is true, perfection on the internet is often deceptive.





I am an in between colour, neither dark nor fair.

I may never face colorism to the extent those on the deeper end of the complexion spectrum , I have not been completely shielded from it either.

The description of my skin has always been as a comparison, never independent. Those who know my family, know that I am darker than the rest of them, so I am dark. Those who do not know my family, use themselves a standard for comparison, ‘ you are fairer than me’ or ‘ you’re the same colour as me”; to them I am fair.

Growing up, I really wanted to be ‘confirmed’ as fair. Fair and Lovely was the first skincare I ever bought; I never turned white.I religiously wore long sleeves every day of my teenage phase, to keep myself fair. It never worked. Instead, with the glory of the sun, I only got tanner.

I scrubbed, masked and bleached; slathered my face with yogurt , turmeric , milk , and lime juice. Absolute fairness never came my way, but fairness advice did

‘Use papaya pulp’

‘Use orange juice’

‘Use sunscreen’

At times I wondered, if people say stuff like this to me, what do they do say to people darker to me? If I struggle to find the right shade of foundation, what about those who are darker than me?

Photo by King Lip on Unsplash


At times I wondered, if people say stuff like this to me, what do they do say to people darker to me? If I struggle to find the right shade of foundation, what about those who are darker than me?

Only a few years back did I begin to ask ‘why?’

Why does Indian music only praise ‘gore mukdes?’ why is fairness the first criteria listed in matrimonial ads? Why do so many Indians actively encourage skin bleaching.Why does anyone have to say anything about the colour of someone’s skin?  The cultivation of fairness as an ideal, starts right from childhood; one of the first rhymes taught to children goes, ‘chubby cheeks….curly hair, very fair’; little girls are narrated tales of the most beautiful person being one who is ‘the fairest of them all.’

What’s so wrong about darker skin? Not a single thing.

My generation knows that idealizing fairness is harmful, and that all skin tones are beautiful; I, and a lot of girls my age, have begun to accept and embrace the colour of our skin. I may not have beautiful porcelain white skin, but I do have beautiful beige skin, while others may have chocolate and mocha skin that is equally beautiful

Even so, the damage from years of being told that fair is best, is yet to be undone. I still catch myself complaining at times of how tan I got in the sun, wishing my skin was brighter, or feeling a pang of insecurity when the parlour lady talks about skin whitening.

My hope is , that as the world, thanks to the internet, is becoming more inclusive and accepting of diversity, a day may arrive, where skin colour is not seen as determent of worth or beauty; and people no longer feel the need to go to extremes to whiten themselves.

VICTIMIZE (trigger warning)



You’re sorry

but it wasn’t you;

you were drunk from

the nothing you drank.

It was me,

who should have known

who should have stopped you

you, two times my strength.

you can’t trust me

because I should have known.

I could have stopped you

as I lay there passive.


But I did say No.