The viral bold glamour beauty filter has taken Tik Tok by storm since its debut. This subtle but effective filter makes people look like a more polished, model-like, or superstar version of themselves.
We all want to look good and there’s nothing wrong with that! You can also argue that bold glamour provides a ‘layer of protection’ to safe-guard our privacy. All good, if underneath all that, we can truly accept ourselves for what we are.
Social media effects on beauty standards
Many users do not recognize how it casually and insidiously reinforces unrealistic conventional beauty standards.
Social media comparison has been noted to be one of the underlying cause of the increasing problem with anxiety and depression.
These hyper-realistic filters subconsciously set an expectation to look a certain way, which can be particularly damaging for young people who are still developing their sense of self and self-worth. Facial dysmorphia, or even ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’, is not an uncommon effect of the social media filter wave.
Machines deciding who we are ?
It does not help that the filter is shockingly realistic. Machine deep learning technology called Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) utilizes a dataset of images to seamlessly cover the face and regenerate every pixel of the user’s face in real time.
This is a far cry from traditional beauty filters that use a 3D face mesh overlay. You know the type: beauty filters that glitch when a hand covers a small part of the user’s face.
Have we lost control about what facial features are considered “desirable” (e.g., contoured cheeks and nose, plump lips, and bright eyes).
What is even real on the internet?
Netizens have been discussing how the filter makes them look like an entirely different person, with several makeup artists trying to recreate the look. Plastic surgeon, Dr Monica Kieu, has even commented on why her clients use screenshots of themselves using the filter as reference photos for surgery.
The more hyper-realistic these filters become, the more they will blur the line between fantasy and reality. With present-day one-click photo editing apps and the increasing popularity of hyper-realistic beauty filters, it is important to be mindful of the messages we are sending to ourselves and others.