Scroll through TikTok this week and it won’t be long before you see ‘bold glamour’, a new filter going viral that’s been called ‘dangerous’ by some.
Rather than offer a dramatic facial change, the filter adds subtle and believable enhancements, such as makeup and fuller lips.
So far it’s been used 8.6 million times and counting – and body positivity campaigners are concerned about the impact it could be having on users.
Joanna Kenny, a content creator who documents her ‘self acceptance’ journey on social media, shared a video of herself with and without the filter.
DON’T USE THIS FILTER ⚠️ This is the viral filter everyone is using rn. Tell me honestly, have you ever not shown up irl because of how you’ve misrepresented yourself on social media? If so, you’re not alone ❤️? You deserve to live a full and happy life without worrying about how you look doing it ? #poresnotflaws #boldglamour #beautystandards #beautystandardsarefake #bodyimagemovement #bodyimagehealing #joannakenny #toxicbeautystandards #skinconfidence #skinconfident #nofilterchallenge #fyp2023
‘I don’t look anything like this but the filter itself looks natural,’ she said.
She added that she felt she looked ‘ugly’ once the filter came off, and warned users not to try it out.
Someone commented: ‘Wanted to hop in here and say you’re absolutely not ugly without it, then realized I said the same thing about myself.’
Another added that the filter ‘just looks like makeup’.
One viewer shared: ‘I literally cannot do these because I have body dysmorphia and these would 100% DESTROY me.’
The latest filter launch comes two years on from the #FilterDrop campaign, which questioned the increasingly ‘realistic’ filters arriving on social media.
Started by Sasha Pallari, the campaigned called for ‘misleading’ filters to be banned from beauty ads on social media. The campaign went viral and the Advertising Standards Authority ruled against these kinds of filters in that context.
But that doesn’t mean the new filters went away.
Research from 2020 found that filters can create feelings of dissatisfaction in young adults, making them more likely to feel unhappy in their face and body.
The research ‘concluded that investing heavily in and editing one’s self-presentation on social media is a detrimental activity for young women’, especially when looking at mental health.
This is what ‘bold glamour’ does to your face
A couple of us on the Metro Lifestyle desk tried it out and found it to be less realistic, but certainly reflective of generic Western beauty stereotypes: contoured makeup, lighter skin, and fuller lips.
My colleague, Alice Giddings, described the before and after as ‘startling’.
‘The bold glamour filter was something I instantly tried when I saw it,’ she said.
‘Honestly the difference is startling, I hate the way my face looks with the filter.despite a lot of people saying how much they love it online.
‘It looks harsh and almost scary in my opinion, completely warping the way I look. I feel like a lot of people will use this filter in a serious way, but it really isn’t me.’
When I tried it, I didn’t think it looked realistic at all – but once again, like many filters, it was a reminder that ‘whiter’ is ‘better’ by societal beauty standards. The usual suspects – such as my nose being slimmed down and the green flecks in my eyes being dramatically enhanced over the brown – play to this notion. The filter also promotes the filler/Botox face.
The first time I gave it a go, my skin came out lighter too. On this second attempt it looks similar, just smoothed out.
If I was less secure in my appearance, I’d probably have a hard time stomaching this, but by now it’s just disappointing. Younger, less developed girls, may have a very different response.
Joanna ended her video with the reminder: ‘Filtered skin is not a skin type. And we’re already the perfect edit.’
That surely has to be the message to come away with when filters like these blow up in popularity and risk making more people that bit more uncomfortable in their skin.
Metro.co.uk has contacted TikTok in relation to the criticism of the filter and will update this article if we get a response.
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