Drop everything you are doing right now. Reach out for your mobile phone and delete FaceApp — the mobile application that went viral overnight for no extraordinary feature.
The app has some problems. We will come back to it later.
Let’s first address the elephant in the room — the problem we have. We want to know our future; we unfold our palms in front of an unknown astrologer. We want to know how we would look after 40 years; we just download an app, compromise on our date and then spam social media.
So far, so good.
But it’s interesting that my social media feed is flooded with salt-and-pepper male faces with wrinkles sprinkled in an injudicious way all over their faces.
Mostly male faces.
This is Varun Dhavan some two, three decades after — ageing selectively. The actor posted this on his Instagram. (Photo: Instagram)
The owners of these photographs are proud and happy. Because the mobile application has a clearly problematic understanding of ageing. So, all men look like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. Yes, we have very ‘white’ problems here.
Ageing is a natural process beyond the supposed intelligence of ‘artificial intelligence’. You will fold the skin here and there, insert three horizontal wrinkles on foreheads and you will get an older looking face — no, the process is not this simple. And so, the results are obnoxious and westernised.
But there’s more beyond this whitewashing.
I don’t see those many women taking up this challenge on social media.
Because it’s exactly a sharp contradiction of the real-life challenge that women are taking up.
You can’t just age, you have to age gracefully.
If you sport a few strands of white hair, those don’t get counted as salt-and-pepper look. That’s a sign of you losing your prime.
Your age doesn’t stand for your maturity and experience.
All these, in your case, convey just one thing: You are old.
No Priyanka Chopra didn't share this photo. But this, among many others, is doing the rounds on social media because any photo saved on your mobile can be morphed. (Photo: Instagram)
To say age is just a number takes a lot of guts for women. And a lot of money! You invest in botox, surgeries, vaginal rejuvenation to iron out the signs of ageing.
And then a mobile application suddenly pops up one day to topple your world in a half-baked attempt to break all glass ceilings, but the shards are there to bleed your feet.
Women are treading cautiously not to get wounded and mostly have stayed away from the application.
Here are a few questions:
A) Do we now need a mobile application to tell us that men and women are not equal?
B) Do we need an app which is screaming to us that the way Hollywood stars age is the way everyone must age?
C) Do we need to put that filter to all celebrity photos saved on our phone, just for fun?
If all the answers are 'no', then can we please put our fixation with age behind us, for once?