How TikTok's Controversial 'Big Nose' Filter Has Sparked Beauty Standards Debate

TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat users all over the world can use filters to alter their appearance. Sometimes this is in overt ways like adding dog ears to their heads, or transforming users into Disney characters, while others focus on smoothing skin or accentuating features.

The popularity of these filters mean they often go viral. The latest of these is the "big nose filter". Although most filters are designed purely for fun, this feature has faced criticism in recent weeks, as users have shared comments reflecting their insecurities.

What is the Big Nose Filter on TikTok?

The Big Nose Filter on TikTok is one of many filters which can used on a TikTok video.

This filter alters the shape of a person's face, stretching a person's face across the screen, focusing mainly on lips, face shape and nose to make it wider.

Your eyes are also made to look smaller, meaning you will look completely different when this is used.

One user, Katylee Bailey, shared an image of her using the filter to stretch her nose while looking sideways, meaning it gave the impression of a larger nose.

Many took to the post to share their own insecurities, with one commenter writing: "My actual nose looks like the filter so not sure how I feel about this one."

Another said: "My nose makes me want to run into a wall."

A third added: "don't even wanna try this filter incase it doesn't even change."

@k4tyl33

Yeah… still don’t like it. Especially my nose🥺

♬ original sound - misunderstood genius

While some have shared negative opinions on how the filter has made them feel, others have said the filter gives them a confidence boost when it returns them to their usual face types.

Why Is the Big Nose Filter So Controversial?

Faye Dickinson, a creator and inventor of Filter vs Reality filter, has spoken to Newsweek about how this filter can have negative effects on a person's mental health.

She said of the 'Big Nose trend': "Look at yourself regularly, then with an oversized nose filter, highlighting how asymmetrical ("ugly") your face is. Like most social media things, it has little value other than to make you feel weird (or worse).

"But the current filter situation is already so messed up because of the way people are using it. This oversized nose filter, separating us into symmetrical and those who aren't, sends the message that if you're not hot, you can't sit with us. Or worse—if you're seen as "ugly," you might go viral for even trying.

"It's a biological belief that having a symmetrical face equates to beauty."

In Dickinson's mind, it is not the filter itself at fault, but also the way in which TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat users allow these trends to go viral, meaning more people focus on them.

She said: "We can blame TikTok for the filter, but we can only blame ourselves for making it go viral. If we want to put our foot down on dangerous social media trends, we need to collectively resist the urge to like, comment, and share. Once the trend dies, there'll be something new...

"Don't let these filters fool you; you're unique, beautiful, strong, powerful, loved and worthy without any filter."

Dickinson can be found on Instagram on @fayedickinsonx

Newsweek has contacted TikTok and Katylee Bailey for comment.

TikTok
TikTok is a social media brand where users can use filters on their videos. Drew Angerer/Getty Images