COMMENT:

Earlier this month Khloe Kardashian posted a photo of her daughter True to her Instagram account.

A day later, she had to disable the comments. The reason? Too many of her 79 million followers were accusing the new mother of using the editing app Facetune on her baby's face.

Slapping a puppy dog nose filter on to your infant is no crime, especially if, like the Kardashians, you'd prefer not to expose the exact features of your child's visage to the world. Kim, Kylie and Khloe have all dabbled in the filters since their three daughters were born, arguing it's for privacy, reports news.com.au.

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Baby Chicago

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

But Khloe's post of True wasn't a cute bunny-eared or doggie nosed filter. According to numerous commenters, the Good American jeans founder had reddened her baby's cheeks, whitened her eyes, and blurred out "imperfections" using Facetune.

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💕 My sweet little mama 💕

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Khloe claimed she turned off the comments because trolls were making racist remarks about her child, but fans remain unconvinced.

"As a Facetune veteran (lol) she has DEFINITELY used the whiten tool on the whites of True's eyes, the detail tool to sharpen them and the smoothing tool on her skin" tweeted one fan.

Perhaps this is what we should expect from a reality TV star, who derives a hefty chunk of her earnings from her Instagram posts, and has admitted she uses editing apps on herself, calling Facetune "The only way to live".

But like almost everything the Kardashians do, it's looked upon as extreme and garish, until that friend from high school starts doing it, too.

It's already happening. Two weeks ago I was scrolling through my Instagram when I noticed something particularly odd.

A woman I'll call Karen had posted a photo of herself with her brood. Two boys, a girl — all under 10. Karen is what you might call a budding "Mum Influencer". She always wears fashionable clothes in her fashionable house with her fashionable children.

But looking closely at Karen's daughter, I noticed one leg appeared thinner than the other. Alarmed, I assumed she was suffering from an illness; that was, until I looked closer and saw the telltale signs of an editing app: the jagged background, the way the tree behind her bent, defying the laws of physics.

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This girl could not be any older than eight, and already her own mother had decided her legs were too large for Instagram.

We know Instagram is mostly fiction, a curated display of the best parts of people's lives. We know, too, that if you want to earn money via the platform, the pressure is on to look a certain way.

There's also an argument to be made about even including children in your 'brand'. It's not as if your baby signed a contract about what can and can't be shown. But surely "slimming down" your kid is crossing a line.

What did Karen tell her daughter? "Sorry honey, Mummy feels that your chubbiness is not client-facing, so I've gone ahead and edited your flesh."

What she really should've told her is that Mummy doesn't have the self-esteem to properly quarantine her own self-hatred from her children, and it's now being projected on to them.

Now that I've seen it, I'm noticing it more and more.

Babies who have been 'Facetuned', all blurry and soft, as if they're wearing a thick layer of foundation. Toddlers with gleaming teeth. Little kids looking like Bambi, with eyes just that little bit too big, replete with cartoonish eyelashes.

Childhood, particularly early childhood, is the time when our brains absorb the most fundamental messaging about self-esteem. It's the period in our lives when we are learning what love looks like.

If love looks like a parent feeling so ashamed of a child's appearance, they want to augment reality, we should not be surprised if that child chooses to be involved in destructive relationships when they grow older.

If children are being handed the idea that they are not fit to be displayed in public, or worse, that their only value lies in their display, we have a serious problem.

And while the Kardashians might have all the trappings that come with wealth, and celebrity, spare a thought for True Thompson, who may one day learn her face wasn't good enough for mummy's brand.