The Pull Agency
How to do Consumer Research on a Shoestring
De-Stress and Impress: How Beauty Brands Can Capitalise on the Self-Care Revolution
The Ugly Side to TikTok’s Bold Glamour Filter
Blog / Campaigning Health & Beauty

The Ugly Side to TikTok’s Bold Glamour Filter

Meet bold glamour - the controversial beauty filter blurring pores, imperfections and the lines between fun & damaging.
This week in the latest chapter of online controversy, we’re talking all things glamour... well, the AI version anyway.

If you’re on TikTok (if you’re not…pause here & go download it!) chances are you will have come across the Bold Glamour filter on your FYP already. The filter has been used over 16 million times since the release in February, with people showing their extreme transformations going from sad to snatched in seconds.

It’s safe to say Bold Glamour has had quite the impact across social - who knew a filter could divide a room of opinions?

Some people have expressed concern around the impact that the filter could have on young people’s view of beauty, while others have disagreed and viewed the technology as a simple form of entertainment.

It’s Not Just a Filter, It’s Part of a Wider Problem

I know some of you are reading and thinking, pipe down Paige, it’s just a filter used for a bit of fun. And while I can appreciate the fun side of it, I agree there is a huge issue it presents.

The problem with this particular filter is how lifelike its looks. Users can move around and wave their hands in front of their face without it glitching at all, meaning people never need to know you are actually using a filter - starting to see the potential for damage yet?

Of course, I had to test it out for myself, and all I could think about was the harmful effects it could have on someone's self-confidence - I can confirm watching your face transform from perfectly proportioned to round & pale, is NOT a way to boost your confidence. Honestly, it’s no wonder brands are having to work so hard to boost consumer self-esteem with filters like bold glamour about!

Have we learnt nothing? We know from our recent Future of Beauty research that a pitiful 5% of people actually still want to see unachievable beauty standards forced upon them. But I am certainly in the 95% majority that is all for dumping this ideology. We’ve seen first-hand how damaging unobtainable beauty standards can be, heroin chic, fake boobs, BBL's - we’ve been down this road before!  Yet we’re turning a blind eye to children being exposed to the same ugly, unrealistic beauty standards we were subjected to, by using filters like Bold Glamour. It must stop!

All this is of course aside from the fact the filter goes against everything TikTok embodies. Where is the realness & authenticity in using a filter which alters your facial features and gives you false lashes? Is that what people go to TikTok for?

Who else feels this way?

This filter hasn’t just sparked emotion in me, beauty giants Dove have said enough is enough and dedicated a whole campaign to encourage people not to use the Bold Glamour filter.

The campaign surfaced after research through the Dove Self-Esteem Project found an unsurprising 80% of girls have used filters to change the way they look in images & videos they post by the age of 13! Even less surprisingly, the research found that those who distort their photos have a lower overall self-esteem compared to those who don’t.

From this, the #TurnYourBack campaign was born, where Dove encouraged people to post a video of themselves ‘turning their back’ on the use of physically altering ‘beautifying’ filters.

Firdaous El Honsali, Global Vice President of External Communications at Dove said on the campaign “At Dove, we are committed to #NoDigitalDistortion in any of our marketing and advertising so that we can support a more positive environment on social media. When young people distort their images, they distort their minds too.”

The #TurnYourBack hashtag has received 57 million views on TikTok & over 4,000 posts on Instagram, with many people joining in on the trend and using Dove’s campaign filter to spread the message against using digital distortion.


As technology continues to advance, I’m certain this won’t be the last controversial filter I see on my FYP. And one thing is for sure, gone are the days of the Snapchat dog ear filters – looking back, thank God that era is over! But before we mindlessly post videos using these trending filters, perhaps we can find comfort in remembering the ‘real’ & un-photoshopped role models that we could’ve benefited from when we were younger.

And for beauty brands, it is more important than ever to be considering consumer self-esteem, how you can advocate this and how to encourage confidence & positivity. For more info on what your brand can do, get in touch today at

Posted 11 April 2023 by Paige Byrne