Byte-Sized Futurism #1


I don’t use apps made by Meta on principle*, but a project I’ve been working on required me to learn more about Instagram. After installing it on a burner device, I was shocked to discover an absolute deluge of influencer-style content: No substance, just bodies in various leisurely poses.

What really got to me though was how similar all models looked – they all had the same body type, same make-up, same iPhone in hand, same skin-smoothing filter smeared all over the image, some plastic surgery alterations. It was like they were all trying to become the same person.

That got me thinking.

All these social media models alter their look to better fit some idealized concept of celebrity/beauty/attractiveness.

However, there exists an alternative reality where the goals of surgical alterations are different. Instead of trying to look prettier, the models ask doctors to make them more compatible with AR tracking. Perhaps someone discovered that eyes that tilt inwards produce nicer results with TikTok, while increasing the height and definition of ones philtrum** benefits tracking of lip movement in all social apps equally.

By making themselves objectively less attractive in real life, these models ensure better online results, social media engagement and following.

It’s the only effective way of competing with all the AI-generated beauty bots.

* I have a few Oculus/Meta headsets, but given my main area of work, it’s not really a choice.

** Space between nose and lips. I’m just being fancy with anatomical terms.