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There’s a potentially dangerous new beauty filter being used over on TikTok. Tens of millions of people have used it in just a few weeks.

It’s called Bold Glamour. Have you heard of it?

When activated, the TikTok Bold Glamour filter alters a user’s appearance. It shows them with a flawless, wrinkle-free, and glossy complexion with widened eyes and a slimmed-down nose. It also adds dramatic contouring and makeup, over-arches and boldens the eyebrows and puffs out the lips.

When applied to a live video of yourself, you end up looking completely different! Body confidence ambassador, Alex Light tried it and you can see it in action here on her Instagram account.

We’ve also had a play! Keep reading to see the result…

Why all the fuss about the TikTok Bold Glamour filter?

Like any artificial filter, it distorts the image by adding a digital effect, or ‘overlay’. Nothing new there.

But there are a few reasons why we feel that the Bold Glamour filter could start to have a negative impact on people over time:

1. We can’t tell what’s real anymore

This filter is REALLY good at mimicking your movement and facial features.

The Bold Glamour filter appears to be much better than other similar filters. It bonds to the features of the users’ face extremely well, and it’s pretty much glitch-free. Even when you move your hand in front of your face while the filter is applied, the image is not affected.

This makes it appear incredibly real, even in videos and when you are moving around, pulling faces or obstructing your face with your hand or other objects.

This makes it nearly impossible for viewers to see if there is a filter being used.

2. These filters could be promoting unrealistic beauty standards

By altering the users’ appearance to such an extreme, it’s implicitly suggesting that we are NOT enough as we are.

The suggestion to the user is that to be considered ‘glamourous’ we need to change our appearance with heavy makeup and perhaps even cosmetic enhancements.

3. There’s a risk that users of this filter might develop body image issues

They may come to see this enhanced version of themselves as more desirable than their natural look. Might this make them feel inadequate and unhappy with themselves and their appearance in day-to-day life?

More and more our clients are saying to us that they do not like what they see in the mirror. Is this adding to that feeling of low self-esteem?

Is the TikTok Bold Glamour filter changing beauty standards?

We realise that beauty standards are constantly changing, and we don’t want to sound out-of-touch or unnecessarily negative when discussing this. We do realise that TikTok is an app primarily used for entertainment. BUT, is this really harmless fun?!

We’re genuinely concerned.

We think that the Bold Glamour filter, and others like it, could potentially be having a negative impact on so many people, despite the amused reactions of some of the users who have publicly shared videos of them using the filter.

Beyond the smiles and laughter, what is the real impact that this is having?

Here’s the result when our very own Johanna tried it out…

Jo's face after applying the TikTok Bold Glamour filter

Why social media beauty standards are harmful

As women, and as parents of girls ourselves, this filter worries us.

It seems to be setting a whole new and dangerous beauty standard that’s unattainable for most, and that reinforces the idea that we are NOT enough as we are.

The digitally ‘enhanced’ version of themselves that users see when using the filter is so far removed from reality, and yet is apparently desirable.

How does this impact the confidence and self-esteem of young impressionable people in particular? It surely must be doing more harm than good.

Beauty without filters

Here at Johanna Elizabeth, we strongly believe we are all enough exactly as we are right now.

We see beauty without filters. We feel that no one should feel the pressure to enhance their appearance to feel confident about their appearance and body.

Our view is that this trend, of comparing our appearance to that of a more glamorous version of ourselves, is potentially very dangerous.

This filter is doing nothing for the body-positivity movement and could instead be leading to many more tens of thousands of people feeling insecure and inadequate, leading to body confidence and mental health issues.

We think that it’s essential to educate TikTok users, especially young ones, about the potential dangers of using filters like Bold Glamour.

Now, more than ever, we also need to be spreading the message that our natural appearance IS enough, and to be encouraging body positivity and self-love.

Will you support us in this cause?

Related reading: Discover some of the best female empowerment podcasts for women

What do you think about the Bold Glamour filter?

While TikTok might not be your social media platform of choice and so you may not have come across this filter personally, chances are a girl or woman you know uses it and may have used the Bold Glamour filter.

In fact, the skincare brand Dove conducted research as part of its Self-Esteem project, and found that “80 per cent of girls have used a filter to change the way they look in photos by the age of 13, and that 48 per cent of girls who distort their photos regularly have lower body esteem” – source CreativeBloq.

What are your thoughts on this filter, and on filters in general? Do you use them? Do you think we should be worried, or not? We would love to know your thoughts. Why not share with us below?

Love Johanna, Ange & Rachel


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