iPhone6 USERS: We’ve just created an update to fix a couple of shaky image issues while using SkinneePix on your cool, new phones. Upgrade to version 1.2.1 and give it a try. SkinneePix on iTunes.
ANDROID USERS: We are sorry to say that we have discontinued SkinneePix on Android. We’ve loved our Android users but over time and because of some technical changes beyond our control, it’s been increasingly difficult to provide an Android app that meets everyone’s needs. We are discontinuing the Android/Google Play version of SkinneePix.
Why was Pretty Smart Women started?
We both have journalism and digital backgrounds, and after hearing our friends complain about their selfies pictures not looking right, that they didn’t feel they were a fair representation of themselves because the camera adds weight, they wanted something that would help them look like their “real selves”. So, when we came home we decided we could come up with san app to help men and women, and worked with our developers at Dezapp to create the app.
Why did you choose that name for your company?
First we chose it because our friends said we were too smart not to be successful. But we also chose this name because we do feel as if we have worked hard all our careers, and we are pretty smart, and we just happen to be women. We didn’t want some old boring “tech” name for our company, we wanted something fun, so we decided this is what best suited us.
SkinneePix is your first app. Why did you decide to tackle something that some people might see as controversial?
Well, first of all we don’t necessarily look at it as “controversial” because we are just removing what the 10 to 15 pounds a camera can add because of bad lighting, shadows, bad lenses, to name a few challenges.
People told us what they want, they want the pictures to be a real representation of what they look like, and that is what we have tried to give them. It is as simple as that. We did not build this app to address body image (Since it doesn’t alter the body) but if it gets people talking in the right direction about taking their health seriously, well then we are all for that.
We created this app because our friends asked us for it, and we took on that challenge, a way they could slim their face if they wanted to. We don’t expect everyone to like or even want this app, and that’s ok. There are thousands of apps in the iTunes and Play Store that people don’t want, for whatever reason. But for those who do want this app, we hope it enables them to feel more confident about posting their Selfies online.
What about the people who say you are just perpetuating the problem women have with body image?
Well, as two women ourselves, we believe that a woman’s body image and how they feel about themselves is very personal. One friend said she will not get up in the morning without immediately putting on her makeup because it makes her feel better. She feels better! Who are we to judge her? That’s her belief, that’s how she feels and she has a right to feel that way. She looks beautiful with or without makeup, but she feels more comfortable doing it her way.
Robin and I don’t usually wear make-up every day even though someone might tell us we look better with it on. It doesn’t bother us. We have both made conscious choices that we don’t need make-up all the time, so we don’t wear it all the time, but we don’t judge others who do. When we made this app, we specifically only made it go from zero to 15 because that’s what the camera can automatically add to a picture, and Selfies are even worse depending on the angle or how long your arm is to try and get a good picture.
We did not set out on this project to start a conversation about body image. We are not saying that any one body, one weight, or anything else is better than the other. What we have done is given a person the option of how they want themselves to look to their friends. When they share their Selfies, they should be able to share what they want, not what we think they should want. That’s why we put 0, 5,10 and 15 on the app. If a person takes a picture and thinks they look great with zero, more power to them. That’s why it is there. If another person wants to take off 15, more power to them. It’s their decision, and theirs only, not some outsider who is telling them how to look. We are supportive of free choice, for everyone, no matter what your belief.
Why the name SkinneePix?
You have mentioned that you guys actually see this app as a way to be healthier?
Absolutely. This is Sue speaking now, I am not a “skinny” person, and I have some weight I need to lose. Not because I feel bad about my body, but because I want to get healthier. I have tried to work with programs before and they tell you to put a picture on your fridge when you were really skinny to use as motivation. Well, when I would have a bad day, and maybe eat three ding dongs and then come home and see that picture, I would get depressed, think I failed and sometimes give up.
When we were developing the app and first tested it, and I saw what my face looked like when I hit the 15-pound button, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that the small amount of weight it took off my face made me feel better. And it is all about how “I” feel, not anyone else. I remember thinking, “hey I could do 15 pounds if it would help me look like that”. I liked what I saw, not because someone said anything, but because that’s how I felt. That moment got me thinking about how I could use the app to actually get healthier. So, I have taken a picture of myself with zero and one with 15 and posted it, and each time I reach my goal I will take another picture and another until I get to the point that “I” want, not anyone else!
So, as you can see, body image conversations are very important to me because I have learned to love myself as I am, but that also doesn’t mean that I can’t want to do something that makes “me” feel better. Some people don’t have $150 dollars to buy some wearable to help them with monitoring, but they can do it simply with this app for just 99 cents, and have it right on their phone so when they have a bad moment, all they have to do is pull up their app, take a look, and hopefully it will be enough to motivate them to continue to pursue whatever their goal is. | Getting Healthy with My Selfie
How does it work?
It’s actually very simple. You just download the app, click on it and it will open to your Selfie camera screen. You can decide to take your Selfie or change the camera to do a close up of a friend. Then you just click on the checkmark and the screen will change and then some words will come up saying detecting facial features. Once that starts you can choose to take either 0, 5,10, or 15 pounds off.
Watch closely around the chin and cheek area because that’s where the adjustment will happen, and it is very subtle. You can decide if you are comfortable with the zero or the 15, or anything in between, it is up to you.
Then you can share the picture by hitting the square with the arrow, or you can save it to your camera roll, whatever, it is your choice.
And remember, have fun!
We did hear that occasionally people using an iPhone 4 had problems when they tried to open a photo from their camera roll. This had to do with large photo files. Our developers created a fix for that problem and we’ve uploaded new version of SkinneePix with that fix. Your problems should be solved.
We also have heard that some people who really don’t have much extra body fat don’t see much of a change when they adjust their photos with SkinneePix. We intentionally created the app so that it would produce realistic changes in the image. People who have softer features, more body fat, will see the result more clearly.
UPDATE/ANDROID: We’ve heard from some Android users that they have a difficult time downloading #SkinneePix from the Google Play Store: If you go to settings, then applications, then click on Google play store, then click delete data, it fixes it and you can purchase any app — including SkinneePix — just fine.
Do you think that SkinneePix is taking off because of the huge popularity of Selfies?
Finally, a question about Selfies! That’s how this started, and hopefully how it will end. The number of people exchanging Selfies with family and friends has soared as we know, with millions of pictures being posted every day. We feel that the users of social media have asked us for something to make their Selfies look better, and that’s what we have created. Now it is up to each individual to decide how they use it and what they want to send out each day, something they do every time they take a picture anyway.
Pretty Smart Women are two women in the tech world. That is kind of awesome in and of itself. Why do you think there are not more women doing this kind of thing and what would you tell women who are nervous about jumping in to tech development?
We say go for it, people are going to say what they want to say, but you have to have thick skin and not let it bother you. We have used our journalism backgrounds to help us be organized, clear and able to communicate with anyone. Our developers tell us they have never worked with clients who were as prepared as we have been and who were as focused in their strategy.
These developers at Dezapp are young men, but we are not intimidated by that, and they are not intimidated by us. So, if you are a woman, have a tech idea and want to start your own company, want to build something — DO IT! Don’t be put off by the headlines about how tough it is for women. Plow your own path, and kick some butt!
Can you give us a sense of what you may be developing next?
We actually have several projects in the works. We are working on a gamified app for a major retailer, and we are talking with investors about creating two new social media platforms. We’ve also been approached by several other companies that have ideas, but are not sure how to make them happen. We’re discussing advisory roles with them. As you can see, the ideas and projects are flowing which is why our company uses the tag line … Idea Generators, Content Creators!