Unilever’s Dove is calling on its global community to #TurnYourBack to the trending bold glamour filter that is well known on TikTok. As the filter sweeps social channels with content creators calling out its dangers, Dove wants consumers to join the brand to take a stand as part of its ongoing commitment to #NoDigitalDistortion in any of its advertising or marketing. 

Consumers can add value to the movement by posting a video and turning discouraged the use of the bold glamour filter by using #TurnYourBack #BoldGlamour #NoDigitalDistortion. The brand’s goal is for users to stop retouching apps and blurring young people’s confidence and instead, build positive body image on social media.

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Released last month, the filter has been used more than 9 million videos and #BoldGlamour tag has more than 355 million views, according to an article on fashion publication Cosmopolitan. The beauty filter is known to showcase conventionally attractive features such as smooth skin, sharper nose and fuller lips. The filter also adjusts users’ make up.

All of these attributes have given rise to many conversations on the impact of the filter and the detrimental affect the self-esteem. Many people have voiced their concerns that the filter promotes harmful and unrealistic standards of beauty, particularly on a social platform where 60% of users are between the ages of 13 and 19, said media intelligence firm CARMA.

While the “bold glamour” filter was initially received positively by netizens when it was introduced with users marvelling at the filter’s realism, which allowed them to see their faces through a lens that combines makeup and plastic surgery effects, currently 36% of all social conversations being critical of it.

tiktoks bold glamour filter graph

Why Dove is taking this on

For years, Dove has championed wider definitions of beauty and has taken action towards making social media a more positive place with campaigns like #SpeakBeautiful, #NoDigitalDistortion, Reverse Selfie, and #DetoxYourFeed.  However, the rise of the new bold glamour filter effect is dangerous and reinforces the damaging beauty stereotypes Dove has been working to shatter, the brand said in the release. 

Phillippa Diedrichs, research psychologist at the Centre of Appearance Research at the University of West England and body image expert also said that academic studies find that the use of filters and selfie editing are associated with low body confidence, mood, and self-esteem “Research from Dove found that 24% of girls with lower body esteem feel they don’t look good enough without photo editing. Moreover, filters have become part of everyday life for 52% of girls, and 77% try to change or hide at least one part of their body before posting a photo of themselves. This suggests that the cumulative effect of filters and digital distortion over time is creating appearance pressures and low self-worth among girls and young women.”

While social media filters can be a source of creativity and self-expression, bold glamour goes beyond ‘play’, added on Firdaous El Honsali, global vice president, external communications at Dove.  

“Tools once only available to professionals can now be accessed by young girls at the touch of a button and without regulation. 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 that is representative of real, authentic beauty. When young people distort their images, they distort their minds too,” Honsali said. 

He added that effects such as gold glamour distort reality and reinforce narrow and unattainable beauty standards. Around 38% of girls say they can’t live up to the beauty standards that influencers project on social media, and 80% say they have already applied a filter or used a retouching app to change the way they look in their photos by age 13, according to research by Dove. The research was conducted by Edelman Data & Intelligence between November and December 2020 in US, UK, and Canada.

As a result, 48% of girls who distort their photos regularly have lower body esteem compared to 28% of girls who don’t.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out for more information. 

In February, Dove and LinkedIn partnered up to support the passing of The CROWN Act, end hair bias and hair discrimination, and provide free courses that support a more equitable work environment. The CROWN Act, which stands for creating a respectful and open world for natural hair, is a law that prohibits racial discrimination based on natural textures and protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists, and bantu knots.

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