Women are consistently failing to live up the image of their cute and sassy online avatar, and the problem is getting worse, say support groups.
Creating a virtual cartoon character that resembles yourself is very much the in thing these days. The app, developed by a Canada-based tech company, allow users to design their facial features, hairstyle, and then choose an outfit from a wide selection of things Canadians and North Americans usually wear. We spoke to two women who feel slightly inferior to their Bitmoji characters.
Kathryn, 34, from Exeter, is envious of her Bitmoji’s lifestyle. “She’s recently been skiing, in fact she seems to spend a lot of time on holiday in exotic places. And she’s in love with someone. Whereas I work in a call centre and can’t stand my husband. It’s made me feel quite annoyed, actually.” Emily is 25 and from Chelmsford. “Her cheekbones look amazing and her hair is always perfect. I know I created her to look like me, but my friends say I look dog-rough compared to her. Hashtag sad face.”
The pressure to always look good and have a fabulous lifestyle, even when you actually work in insurance and spend nights in watching Gogglebox with a frozen cottage pie, is hard to bear sometimes. Support groups say that Kathryn and Emily’s cases are typical. “We see a lot of women experiencing a kind of self-inflicted existential horror over how their Bitmoji seems to be mocking their lives”, says Dr. Ann Mercer. “For example, my own Bitmoji looks 20 years younger than me and has a repertoire of around 20 different fancy dress costumes. She looks adorable in the bumble bee outfit.”
However, Emily isn’t ready to delete the app just yet. “I’m going to show a picture of my Bitmoji to my hairdresser. I want that pink and blonde ombre balayage.”