#ELLEOpinion: Modern Beauty Filters Are On Steroids And I Am Not Okay With It

beauty Filters snapchat

Artificial Intelligence’s penetration into our daily lives is so subtle that we don’t even bat and eyelid when it offers up a new solution, and it’s compelling and pervasive. From Spotify playlist suggestions to Siri’s prompt about meeting your daily hydration goals, it’s all led by AI. The strangest, and most nefarious, of the lot has to be the AI and computer vision used by beauty filters and face-tuning apps. Yep, a simple source code written on a university dorm’s window can be used to create a set beauty filter to make millions of girls insecure about their natural features. Much has already been written about how beauty filters affect the mental health of people, but modern filters are weirder. They’re being sneaky…shady effects meant to deceive and catfish people while you cannot even tell that there’s a filter on. As I said before, beauty filters are on steroids and while I am not someone who would use them consciously, I end up finding myself affected by them. Let’s take a look at…

…Modern Beauty Filters’ Most Devious Trends

Misleading Trends


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We’re going to start with a milder form of mind-altering beauty filter that can get you to obsess over them. They are not necessarily beauty filters, but ones that alter the way the pigment catches the light, reflection and tones of colours to enhance how makeup products look on the face. Molten gold highlighters and basic blushes turning dull complexions into a sun-kissed vision, are realistically few and far between. Take the shiny eyeliner, for instance. This little five-second reel had the beauty industry ‘shooketh’, looking for products that can give you this chrome cast. Turns out, the ‘product’ was nothing but white eyeliner with the filter named Blue Diamond by milkchocolate1999 on. The effect had the most ardent of beauty fans fooled and left brands scrambling to update their ranges with chrome liners. Simply put, this filter was able to troll a whole generation of beauty enthusiasts who claim to know faux lashes from a filter, and I am not OKAY with that.

Blurred Lines

Moving on to something a little less fun and troll-worthy, the blur filter. The blur filter, which smoothens fine lines, and wrinkles, fades dark marks and brightens up the complexion is so popular that red carpet photographers equip themselves with cameras already fitted with this feature. Yes, the red carpet and BTS shots that you see on your favourite celeb’s page have the blur filter on. Remember the part about beauty filters being sneaky? Well, this one can sneak into your house in the daylight and walk away with your refrigerator without raising suspicion! The filter is so inconspicuous that you cannot tell that it’s on, making natural skin texture almost non-existent on social media. Even with professional makeup artists at the helm, real skin is not smooth and perfect like alabaster. And a majority of influencers, celebs or the rest hiding behind them makes it extremely problematic. The only thing you should be blurring from your life is the NSFW wallpaper on your phone, nothing else!

Culturally Non-Inclusive

We’ll be concluding with a particularly problematic trend followed by beauty filters. Look closer and you’d see that most beauty filters only look realistic on the stereotypical European and American features. Beauty filters do not work for ethnic faces and it goes to show how non-inclusive the developers behind them are. Plump bottom lips and smaller mouths are classic ‘Instagram Face’ features made popular by the likes of the Kardashians. These filters disrupt ethnic – particularly Asian – features to an extent that you do not even recognise yourself anymore. Expert studies have shown the distorted mindset of young girls about their appearances, and it can clearly affect women well into their 30s too. The popularity of lighter lenses, paler skin and superficial surgeries to get smaller noses and longer jawlines is proof of that. Social media, FaceTune or FaceApp filters are contributing to the erasure of natural ethnic features, and I am not OKAY with that.

Images: Pexels, Instagram

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