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Apple's iPad Pro demo stirred an outcry after a model's face was edited to smile

At Apple's latest event announcing new products, an Adobe executive edited an image of a woman's face to smile using his fingers.
At Apple's latest event announcing new products, an Adobe executive edited an image of a woman's face to smile using his fingers.
Verge

At Apple's September 9 event, during which the company unveiled its latest slate of products, Adobe executive Eric Snowden managed to offend a slew of women across the internet as he presented Adobe's photo editing tools on the new iPad Pro.

Of the many ways he could have demoed the new technology, Snowden chose to edit a photo of a woman to make her go from unsmiling to smiling — this at an event where women (and, notably, persons of color) were almost entirely absent from view.

In case you need every woman to smile, you can now digitally force them to do so using your iPad Pro.

Giphy

Changing the woman's face to a smiling one — and thus one that appears more pleasing to an onlooker's gaze — was seen by some commenters as an act symbolizing male entitlement and sexism.

There's a well-known trope of a harassing male stranger asking women on the street to smile — and it was digitized by Adobe during the presentation. In the digital world, though, the subject is not asked to smile, but forced to through technology. The imagery made a lot of people uncomfortable.

Most others who commented on Adobe's presentation either missed the act, disagreed with critical interpretation, ignored it, or expressed a feeling of conflicted support.

As one Apple user noted, Adobe products do some super cool stuff.

On his Twitter profile, the speaker favorited more than a dozen congratulatory tweets, and responded to no criticisms. Snowden's presentation was met largely with support by friends and colleagues, based on mentions of his Twitter handle.

I'm not writing to accuse Adobe or Apple of being consciously sexist, but I want to know if Adobe and Apple ever take a hard look at their ethical standards when they are in the pursuit of profit. The more concerning matter of the lack of diversity at the event did not go unobserved.