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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

Jennifer Lopez, a.k.a Queen J.Lo, posted her #MorningFace selfie looking as gorgeous as ever and received thousands of likes and comments. J.Lo re-introduced something so unique to the media world it could possibly change the game of the selfie. This came as no surprise: she looked fabulous without makeup in the morning and of course, during the worst year of our lives.

Since then, I have wondered what the image of beauty looks like on social media in regards to the perfect look, the perfect picture. We take a hundred photos before posting the “right one”, so why are we looking at selfies as our glorified window to beauty?

Today social distancing means all your zits, pimples, scratches and dry patches are hidden under a new concealer: your mask. Alicia Keys has said her lack of makeup, which is reflected on her social media profiles, is purely because she “does not want to cover up anymore”. This includes her “face, mind, soul, thoughts, dreams and struggles”. She believes in uncovering everything and hiding behind nothing.

Even if Alicia Keys and Jennifer Lopez were not powerful celebrities, who can afford best lotions and face masks money can buy, I would still be completely convinced by their incredible choice of words and actions. However, for a commoner like myself and my peers, is this possible? Can we all feel beautiful on social media without any form of covering?

Filters were invented for this exact reason. Men can cover up too without necessarily thinking about it. Ever wondered what that “Beauty” filter is on your android? It is for this very stigma, that you as you are, without covering your imperfections with make-up, is not enough. But technology can magically do it for you. We have also seen social media promote this ideology through more exciting colours and themes in every update. One tap on your phone means you ultimately become “beautiful” to society.

Ever worn a cute outfit, got to your next destination and just because you are not wearing makeup you get called “tired” or are “letting yourself go”? For women this is bound to happen more than once in our lives. However, it is happening more today than it ever was. This might be because we completely forgot to bring that Nashville or Rise filter with us.

Maybe we should bring back the Blackberry trend with their low-resolution cameras and their outrageously colourful filters. You would look much better in person than you ever would on Instagram if we were still living in 2010. Nobody would zoom into what you are wearing or ask about your new face cream that makes you look that good. I admit some are more photogenic than others, but what makes a true selfie should naturally be up to you.

Bachelor of Arts in Film, English & Media Studies I'm just a girl with the chance to write about beautiful places, people and other worldly phenomena (Desai, 2020) ?