The project, which is titled Selfie Harm, saw Rankin photograph 15 teenagers (boys and girls aged from 13 to 19) and then hand the image to them to edit, tweak and filter until they felt their image was “social media ready”.
We’re all partial to a healthy dose of saturation on our Instagram images but a fascinating new project from British photographer and director, Rankin, highlights the youth’s obsession with editing their social media snaps.
In just 5 minutes and using one of the thousands of apps freely available on any phone, they had the freedom to change their own images and show what can be done at the press of a few buttons.
The altered images give us a unique insight into their personal vision of “perfection”, showing us how appallingly easy it is to create a new and enhanced version of yourself.
Displayed together, Rankin’s unretouched portraits show the true face of youth and natural beauty, against the heightened, smoothed, and dramatically changed versions.
Discussing his campaign, Rankin said: “For Selfie Harm, I photographed 15 teenagers handed them the image to then edit filter until they felt the image was ‘social media ready’. People are mimicking their idols, making their eyes bigger, their nose smaller and their skin brighter, and all for social media likes.
It’s just another reason why we are living in a world of FOMO, sadness, increased anxiety, and Snapchat dysmorphia. It’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image.
“It’s time to do something about this harmful aspect of our culture. Every day it is growing in strength, and although of course I do assume responsibility for using similar technology in the past, we need to look at these new and (I think) dangerous developments with a critical eye.
“I want to challenge the way it is being used and abused in the wider world.”
We are SO here for this, Rankin.