Conspiracy Theory: FaceApp Is Backed By Big Beauty

FaceApp first rose to fame by showing us, with disturbing accuracy, what Kellyanne Conway might look like as a macho, middle-aged white dude. More recently, it’s invaded Instagram with an equally fascinating “Old Filter.” There’s some concern that the photo-altering app is stealing your selfies and sharing them with the Russian government. It’s not

But. There is another, more plausible conspiracy theory to consider: FaceApp’s Old Filter is backed by the beauty industry in an elaborate bid to get you to buy more skincare products.

It is, really, the only explanation. The filter starts with a nice photo of your face and melts it into a sagging, wrinkly approximation of Old You. The technology is ostensibly realistic — Old Me could literally be a picture of my mother — and as such, strikes fear into the hearts and minds of those who have sacrificed their lives to skincare.

“How could this happen???” you may scream into the void after gazing upon your future visage. “I wear SPF every day!!!”


Your rational mind tries to cling to reason: “It’s only an app,” you repeat to yourself, mantra-like. “It’s only an app.” But this does little to assuage the anxiety of the religious retinol user inside. You fill virtual shopping carts with antioxidants and bakuchiol. You book an appointment with your dermatologist. You debate getting Botox and maybe, like, a half-syringe of Juvéderm. (Who knew Old You would have such thin lips?) Anything to escape the fate that FaceApp has so rudely revealed.

If this sounds familiar — which, based on the fevered, FaceApp-fueled discussion of the anti-aging benefits of vitamin C and collagen supplements happening in The Cut’s Facebook beauty group right now, it probably does — listen closely: Big Beauty has obviously colluded with Russian photo editors to con you into spending more time, energy, and money on your anti-aging regimen. And we cannot let them win.

Resist this thinly-veiled attempt to capitalize on the ageism embedded in American culture! Fight the urge to Fraxel your fine lines into oblivion! It is your civic and aesthetic duty to send Big Beauty — and sure, those Russian app developers, too — a clear message: They may take our selfies, but they’ll never take our (psychological) freedom!

And if you really want to stick it to the man? Embrace the inevitability of aging. That’ll show ‘em.