Beauty filters are changing cultural standards for the worse

One afternoon I was swiping through TikTok, uninterested.

Every trend is the same.

It was one of those days that every swipe felt like the same thing.

I swiped into a video of a woman speaking about a beauty filter.

At first, I didn’t understand what filter she was implying because the video appeared to be just like any other video.

This woman talked about how applying a specific filter made her feel beautiful, so beautiful that she said, “Please don’t make me look so beautiful. It’s going to make me leave my husband.”

That video stuck with me for a while. How can a filter make someone feel so beautiful that they would have thought like this?

There was a study conducted by Consumer Reports asking people if they found the usage of beauty filters to be a concern. The study found that 59% of people polled said that beauty filters are “troubling.”

I didn’t understand what it meant for beauty filters to be “troubling.” Troubling can be translated in many ways.

One of the most recent troubling events that these filters have caused was the recent lawsuit where Texas and Illinois sued Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, temporarily restricting certain filters.

Certain restricted filters were the virtual makeup and add-ons like sunglasses and different hair colors. Lots of filters that younger audiences still use.

Texas and Illinois claimed that Meta was breaking the Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act, learning people’s faces and biometrics without people’s content.

The temporary ban on filters made me wonder if other places should consider restricting filters as well.

Beauty filters have infiltrated our everyday lives as it allows the user to not only alter the world around them but filters also allow each user to alter themselves to look however they want to.

I still remember trying out beauty filters with my friends from my choir class. We laughed quietly in the back of the class. Scared Mrs. Chong would catch us.

Little did I know that it would shape the way that I saw myself.

I don’t remember taking a picture that doesn’t have a filter.

I always thought my photos looked better with a filter on.

I relied on a filter to make me feel beautiful.

Knowing this scared me.

It can be comforting to know that other people feel this way, but also troubling to know that something as small as beauty filters would allow people to justify themselves.

Setting restrictions on filters can help people to become more confident in themselves.

Knowing that 59% of other individuals feel the same way makes me realize that even amid everything, we can allow ourselves to be understood.

I don’t think this problem will be solved overnight as it will take just as many years to unlearn a societal issue that took years to develop.

If we continue to allow Meta and other similar companies to continue evolving into what they’re becoming, we will fall further into the cycle of not allowing ourselves to be our authentic selves.