Sometimes, when the light through the bedroom window hits just right, you’re having a good skin day and the hair is falling in a particularly flattering way, the impulse to snap a selfie is a force too strong to ignore. After all, given that the global pandemic saw us go through a long stretch where we existed solely in sweatpants and unwashed hair, these are moments we should celebrate and immortalise on social media. But as many have come to find, the Instagram selfie has taken on a life of its own in recent months as filters come to be used extensively, changing the shape of our nose, blurring our imperfections, and making our appearance one in-keeping with idealised beauty standards. Seeing your real face when the filter is off is now something many find jarring and disappointing.
Though it can be hard to escape the beauty pressures that come when scrolling through an endless feed of celebrity and influencer selfies, one app promises to remove this feeling entirely. Enter Poparazzi: a new app that posits itself as Instagram’s biggest rival, and one that’s taking a stand against selfie culture.
Poparazzi won’t let you take or post selfies in a rather huge pivot seen on social media apps. Instead of taking photos and uploading them to your profile like on Instagram, your profile on the app is only created when your friends take photos of you in which you are tagged. The logic behind this is that your friends become something like your own personal paparazzi, and vice versa (minus the hiding in the bushes, incessant stalking, and incessant camera flashes that follow you everywhere). It’s for this reason that Poparazzi calls itself the “anti-selfie selfie club.”
It’s clear that Poparazzi is a social media app with a conscious, and has taken into consideration many of the issues that people find with Instagram. For example, another feature of the app is that there are no captions, no comments, no follower counts, no hashtags and no filters. It’s basically like the OG Instagram - before stories and reels came to dominate our life.
It’s certainly an interesting premise and a refreshing one. Instagram recently removed likes from posts on the platform, but will soon make like counts optional. For some, this was a devastating b blow, while others relished the ability to simply post without feeling like you needed to be validated by likes. Whether Poparazzi will blow up to truly rival Instagram remains to be seen, but it is nice to see developers in the industry thinking with a social conscience.
Poparazzi is currently available on the Apple App Store, and an Android app is on the way.