As beauty filters become more advanced, their ability to promote beauty standards become more prevalent. The release of a new TikTok filter, "Bold Glamour," has prompted many users to speculate if photographic technology has gone too far. The filter, which has been used millions of times recently, raises concerns about its potentially harmful impact on mental health.
Critics argued that the “terrifyingly realistic” filter can have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem. The filter stimulates a set of conventionally attractive features through the application of various changes to the user’s facial features. The filter showcases morphed bone structures, enhanced facial features and makeup techniques while maintaining a “subtle” appearance. The facial changes can create an idealized version of beauty, leading to concerns about its impact on body image.
“I have never felt uglier,” Lindsay Borow, a TikTok user, stated when she switched off the filter.
The “Bold Glamour” filter has been compared to other editing apps that have been linked to the conception of unrealistic beauty standards among young women. Critics believe such an influence can harm a person's perception of beauty. Research shows that young girls are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of beauty filters and photo retouching. According to a Dove Self-Esteem Project study, 85% of candidate girls had used photoshopping apps by the age of 13.
“Dove Self-Esteem Project research shows that more than half of girls say they can’t live up to the beauty standards projected on social media, and 1 in 2 girls say toxic beauty content on social media causes low self-esteem — this filter illustrates why young people feel this way,” Firdaous El Honsali, Global Dove Vice President, told Marie Claire UK.
As TikTok users grapple with the impact of beauty filters, they have devised some solutions to mitigate the negative effects. A potential solution is for creators to avoid using and promoting the use of these filters altogether. In addition, viewers are recommended to safeguard themselves by refraining from watching creators who use beauty filters. As encouraged by TikTok user Hira Mustafa, this approach could help minimize the impact of filters and promote more authentic content on social media platforms. By working together to address the issue of beauty filters, social media users can help create a more positive and supportive environment for all.
“Unfollow people that don’t bring you joy. Social media should make people feel connected and inspired, not critical of their appearance,” Mustafa suggested.