TikTok's Viral Age Filter: A Phenomenon of Mixed Reactions

Courtesy of Hailey Bieber / @haileybieber

TikTok's latest viral sensation, the Aged filter, has sparked a whirlwind of reactions online, ranging from horror at the glimpse of potential aging to embracing the notion of growing old gracefully.

The filter, utilizing real-time face augmentation, expertly introduces wrinkles, facial sagging, and even exacerbates hyperpigmentation, leaving users stunned by its hyper-realism. This uncanny ability to simulate the aging process has prompted a wave of existential contemplation among Gen-Z and millennial users, challenging societal norms that equate beauty with youthfulness.

In a video garnering 1.5 million likes, a user comically shared her revamped skincare routine "ever since I used the aged filter," showcasing a rigorous regimen involving cleansing, product application, and finishing touches with ice rolling and gua sha techniques.

Numerous comments flooded in with users confessing to purchasing retinol immediately after using the filter, while others resorted to slathering sunscreen on their faces in response to their aged reflection.

"That filter really hit me hard," expressed one commenter. "I'm stocking up on retinol and sunscreen from now on."

For some, the filter prompted contemplation about cosmetic procedures to combat aging effects. "Is it worth injecting Botox every few months?" pondered one user in a TikTok video. "And what about jowls? I refuse to accept those."

The filter's accuracy sparked curiosity, leading users to compare its predictions with current appearances and even celebrities' younger selves. While some found the filter eerily accurate, others noted significant disparities between its projections and reality.

Despite the anxiety-inducing realism, several viral iterations of the trend embraced the inevitability of aging. One user's TikTok video, accumulating over 2.3 million likes, portrayed her aged self as a fun-loving aunt, ready to share dirty jokes and sneak extra cookies.

Similarly, another user expressed anticipation of meeting her older self, though some pointed out discrepancies in aging outcomes among users.

Yet, amidst the frenzy, there were heartwarming moments of self-discovery. Some users found solace in resembling their parents or grandparents after applying the filter. One creator emotionally compared her aged face to a photo of her late grandmother, reflecting on the profound connection.

Meanwhile, an actor and filmmaker with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome used the trend as a poignant reminder of the privilege of aging, acknowledging the emotions it stirred within her.

As TikTok continues to spark cultural conversations, the Aged filter remains a poignant reflection of society's complex relationship with aging, prompting users to confront fears, embrace acceptance, and cherish the journey of growing older.

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