There’s a controversy raging over the use of a new TikTok filter called “Bold Glamour,” which uses artificial intelligence technology to create a new, improved version of the user’s face with eerie accuracy.
While social media filters of the recent past were obvious and even silly, with dog ears being among the most popular, Bold Glamour is a very different concept. This new TikTok filter doesn’t disappear or get distorted when the user turns their face to the side, giving it a more realistic look.
Critics say that Bold Glamour encourages impossible beauty standards.
tiktok Bold Glamour filter.. the more you know 😂 pic.twitter.com/S0TtlPteeD
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“It is different,” Luke Hurd, an augmented reality consultant who has worked on filters for Instagram and Snapchat said of the filter, per NPR.
“It’s not cartoon-y. It’s not drastically aging you, or turning you into a child, or flipping your gender on its head,” he continued. “And there are a lot of times where you have to look down in a corner and see, ‘is there a filter on this person?’ And lately it’s been yes.”
Hurd explained how the filter technology uses a “generative adversarial network,” comparing the user’s face to a massive array of similar faces to create an airbrushed version. The result is often gives users higher cheekbones, a slimmer nose, brighter eyes, and a smoother complexion.
“It is simply taking images that have been fed into it and targeting parts of your face and then trying to essentially match them,” he said.
The personal care company Dove is starting a campaign against the filter, claiming it can be detrimental to TikTok users’ self-esteem and sense of self-worth. They started promoting the #TurnYourBack and #NoDigitalDistortion hashtags in direct response to the Bold Glamour TikTok filter becoming so popular.
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“No filter should tell you how to look. 80% of girls are already using filters by the age of 13. It’s no wonder their perception of beauty and their self-esteem are distorted,” the personal care brand wrote in a post.
Influencer Alex Light also cautioned users against Bold Glamour.
“Filters like this create a brand new and unrealistic comparison that blurs the lines of reality and sets a new standard for how we think we should look,” she shared with more than half a million followers on Instagram. “It’s vital that we push back against these increasingly toxic beauty standards and show young girls that it’s OK to be their authentic, beautiful selves.”
The filter has been used to create nearly 17 million videos since it was introduced last month, AdAge reported, and has been interacted with more than 400 million times. Despite the backlash, creators have been sharing their Bold Glamour videos all over social media.
Whether they were in favor of the results or not, most users expressed shock at how real it looked.