Jia Tolentino, ex-editor of Jezebel and now staff writer for the New Yorker, as well as author of the brilliant collection Trick Mirror, tackles the identity warping effects of face-tune filters on Instagram, and more broadly points out the way in which beauty standards are increasingly being driven by digital software. So we no longer take our aesthetic cues from the real world, but from software which can distort the human face in all kinds of wrong ways. Her observations are kind of terrifying, as they are in Trick Mirror, too, what I like about her writing is that she is asking the ethical questions about the internet that we all should have been asking all along. She is a deeply moral writer in an age when it seems hard to define what morality might actually mean.
First published in The New Yorker, December 2019 and available online here