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Snapchat's International Women's Day 'Curie' lens backfires

You can take selfies as Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks or Marie Curie. But the makeup on Marie Curie's lenses is causing some backlash for Snapchat.

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Snapchat is celebrating International Women's Day with these lenses of Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks and Marie Curie.

Snapchat

Snapchat is celebrating International Women's Day by letting you transform selfies into three iconic women.

The social network on Wednesday rolled out lenses honoring artist Frida Kahlo, activist Rosa Parks and scientist Marie Curie -- but it's been hit with criticism.

The Marie Curie lenses surrounds users with beakers and test tubes that fume up, but it also gives people smoky eyeliner and long eyelashes. (Maybe they should have added safety gear considering she died from radiation exposure.)

Snapchat's tribute to the Nobel prize-winning chemist's is facing backlash for taking cosmetic liberties with the Curie lenses, with people on Twitter calling the makeover unnecessary and both historically and scientifically inaccurate.

This isn't the first time Snapchat has gotten into hot water over its filters. In August, the company removed its Asian filter, which gave people exaggerated features like yellow skin and slanted eyes. Four months earlier, the company got into trouble over its Bob Marley filter, which let you add the late singer's face to your own -- a move critics called digital blackface.

Snapchat partnered with Parks' and Kahlo's estates to honor their legacies through the filters, but could not work with Curie's because she did not have one.

The Kahlo lenses gives people a set of thick eyebrows, red lips and a flower headband, following along the artist's iconic style. The Rosa Parks lenses gives users a sepia-toned picture, with a hat, hair and glasses styled like the civil rights leader's.

"In the age of the selfie, Frida is considered to be the first selfie artist," Beatriz Alvarado from the Frida Kahlo corporation said in an emailed statement. "She told a story of love, life, strength and passion through her self-portraits."

The Parks and Kahlo lenses are also being criticized for the eye color choices, though the lenses don't add any skin color or other stereotypical facial features.

Curie is remembered as the only woman to win two Nobel Prizes and as a chemist who discovered Radium and Polonium, not for her makeup. While Snapchat added the defining features from Kahlo and Parks' lives, including a quote from the civil rights activist, people on Twitter are upset Curie has been reduced to an eyeliner-laden Snapchat filter.

Snapchat isn't the only one showing support for women's rights. Across the web, companies like Facebook and Google recognized International Women's Day with posts recognizing women around the globe. Google featured a slideshow of highlights from the women's rights movement, while Facebook showcased successful women around the world with a map of live streams.

Updated at 12:46 p.m PT.: To include details about who Snapchat worked with to create the lenses.

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