Dove invites consumers to take a stand against digital distortion

The beauty giant is calling on consumers to #TurnYourBack on the #BoldGlamour filter

Josie Shand



Dove has capitalised on the backlash to TikTok’s #BoldGlamour filter with a campaign to raise awareness of the toxic impact of filters on girls’ self esteem.

Dove is encouraging consumers to #TurnYourBack on the new Bold Glamour filter as part of its mission to create a #NoDigitalDistortion movement. Developed by Ogilvy and DAVID, the powerful and moving campaign motivates users to stand together and physically turn their backs on this harmful form of digital distortion. 

The Bold Glamour filter presents a one-sized fit all ideal of ‘beauty’ – one which looks real, yet arguably in the real world is unachievable. Distortion created through this filter has people questioning their natural appearances and in turn could have a negative impact on their mental health. 

The “Bold Glamour” filter airbrushes its user’s skin while also changing their bone structure and applying a make-up look, portraying so-called “perfection”. The filter has been used over 15 million times on TikTok. The widespread use of the filter has sparked a backlash because it blurs perceptions and promotes unobtainable beauty standards, which could lead to users questioning their own looks. 

Social media filters are a well established tool on social media and have been utilised by many brands to promote products and services. However the response to the Bold Glamour filter is a watershed moment in examining the potential harms caused by digital distortion. 

According to research by the Dove Self-Esteem Project, 38% of girls in the U.S. say they can’t live up to the beauty standards that influencers project on social media. Furthermore, 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. As a result, 48% of girls who distort their photos regularly have lower body esteem compared to 28% of girls who don’t. 

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, Research Psychologist at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of West England, explained: “Academic studies find that the use of filters and selfie editing are associated with low body confidence, mood, and self-esteem.” 

“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,” she added. The cumulative effect of filters and digital distortion over time was creating low self-worth among girls and young women.

The influencer-led campaign begins with content creators sharing how they personally feel about the Bold Glamour filter and the damage it can do (and is doing) to social media  users.  

The campaign will roll out with additional large scale digital content and out of home executions. 

Dove, Boots, and Barry M are among the brands to have pledged to help stop the digital altering of bodies and faces on social media campaigns. This movement began in 2021 with the ‘Reverse selfie’ campaign. And since then has continued to create awareness of the potentially negative impact of social media on consumers’ wellbeing.