The New App: Trending Towards A Prettier Me

This week on the social media platform, Instagram, almost everyone’s accounts were flooding with fairytale aesthetics; vibrant selfies with inspirations of renaissance or even space, almost seeming to be captured out of a storybook are all the creations of the newly released AI application, Lensa.

The amusing application spread like wildfire in the form of fairy princesses and space travelers across Instagram accounts; so what is Lensa? Lensa is an AI application that garners your selfies and gender, takes them, and forms mythical portraits. The computer-generated application ranks as the most popular iPhone app in the United States Apple app store.

But is all that fairy dust worth it? Until yesterday, the magic avatar app cost $3.99, and for an annual subscription of a hefty $35.99. With a copious number of people flocking over to the application store and purchasing the application, the cost has been increasing. However, there have also been people on the other side of the spectrum not completely happy with the concept behind these selfies.

Freelance Egyptian graphic designer, Norshek Fawzy took to her Instagram to express how fake and distasteful the avatars are: “soon, you will all like your AI avatars more than your actual pictures/self… the avatar doesn’t get a bad hair day or PMSing pimple.” Her post especially comes after others have expressed how the application borrows from other artists’ work to create the magic effect.

Japanese illustrator, Yuko Shimizu, based in NY also posted to his Instagram how the application is generating these artistic selfies by using the stable diffusion model which allows the application to take aspects of pieces out there created by artists to create one of their fairytale photos.

Though the application did receive controversy, it was outweighed by the number of people jumping on the bandwagon and creating their magical avatars. Some Arab celebrities that created their selfies and were able to have some fun with them were the likes of Egyptian actress, Huda Al-Mufti in addition to Egyptian actor, Omar El Shenawy.

There’s definitely a lot of debate about the ubiquitous application; let us know in the comments how you feel about the polarizing selfies.

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