In an endless flow of glamourized beauty ads surfing around on social media, it’s hard to see what’s real and not. Poreless skin, polished smile, and luscious hair make us question whether something is wrong with ‘me.’ After all, the mirror at home shows a whole different story.
It’s no secret that many of these beauty ads are heavily retouched, even though it’s easy to forget it. But fed up with beauty filters used to sell products, Instagram influencers are now taking a stand and fighting for stricter guidelines on how cosmetic products are advertised online.
The makeup artist Sasha Louise Pallari has started a viral #FilterDrop campaign encouraging other women to post their natural faces, but it has spread beyond the initial mission. After submitting a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK, she finally heard back from them.
Incredibly, ASA has ruled against advertisements that “misleadingly exaggerated the effect the product was capable of achieving.” And it's a fresh breath of air in the fake and the unreal side of Instagram content.
I’m just a girl trying to love myself in a world that’s constantly telling me not to
Sasha Pallari, a makeup artist and curve model with a solid fanbase of 20.3k followers on Instagram, started the #FilterDrop campaign back in July 2020. She hoped to inspire “more real skin” on social media.
But now the ASA is on board in cracking down the influencer market saturated with heavily misleading filters to promote, sponsor, and sell beauty and fashion products.
The ASA examined two specific examples, one from the tanning brand Skinny Tan that featured influencer Elly Norris in the photos. Turns out, Elly used Instagram’s widely popular in-app filter “Perfect Tan” to further exaggerate her tanned look.
Just me - no filter - just grey hair, wrinkles and a pair of glasses I have so many things to be grateful for - I’m grateful for all the money I save from NOT dying my hair, I’m grateful for my daughter who’s always complimenting me and my wrinkles and I’m grateful for my glasses because I like the look + they hide the dark circles under my eyes smile and be grateful - there’s always something to be happy about
Another case was that of an Instagram promo campaign for the brand Tanologist Tan shared by the influencer Cinzia Baylis-Zullo.
In a heavily airbrushed video, Cinzia told her followers: “Hi guys, I wanted to tell you all about how I’ve been tanning my face recently using these Tanologist face and body drops.”
Sasha Pallari from the #FilterDrop campaign has filed complaints about these two ads to the ASA, and just a day ago, she got the news back from the UK’s regulator of advertising.
What makeup REALLY looks like after a long ass day... VS... what Instagram thinks it looks like!
This is for my insecure greasy faced baby dolls GREASE IS NORMAL! OUR SKIN IS NOT MATT! We have pours that produces grease, some of us get lots, some don’t!
After a long ass day of wearing makeup, this is what my skin looks like! It’s not dirty, it is human! And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with it.
Filters can hide so much of reality, that we forget so many things are actually normal! Greasy, bumpy faces are so common, but when is the last time you saw one on Instagram!?
If you are like me and also have a greasy bumpy face... BABY WE GOT THIS, WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER AND WE ARE B E A UUUUUTIFUL!
Just injecting your feed with some REAL SKIN this evening!
The ASA ruled that the filters in these cases indeed breached the CAP Code rules that relate to misleading advertising and exaggeration. This is how exactly their assessment read: “The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading Advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration).”
Comparing ourselves to the perfect, online version of ourself IS NOT.
This is not a before and after.
I could not achieve this “look” in real life.
No skincare will give me this result.
No makeup will make me this poreless.
So many of us are striving for these unrealistic beauty standards, feeling miserable when we can’t achieve them no matter how much time and money we invest.
And then there are those who have misrepresented themselves online with filters so much, that they now struggle to meet people in person because they can’t live up to the expectation they created.
When filters stop being fun, stop using them. And next time you find yourself comparing yourself to you or anyone else, question what exactly your comparing yourself to.
And do you really think it’s beautiful or have you been told to think so?
Commenting on the case of the “Perfect Tan” filter used in one of the ads, the ASA stated: “We understood that the filter 'Perfect Tan' by Bianca Petry resulted in a significantly darker skin tone. The filter’s effects were therefore directly relevant to the intended effects of the product.”
FILTERDROP was created as an extension of everything I believe in for beauty. I’ve worked in this industry for almost ten years and with this campaign, I’ve changed how it will be seen online.
Six months ago I spoke to the ASA about the damage of these filters as I felt there needed to be stricter guidelines around how products and cosmetics were advertised online. It felt like I was holding my breath each time I was updated this case was being taken further to each stage. On 22/01/2021 I received an email stating that “the outcome of the rulings chosen mean it is now advised that brands/influencers/celebrities are not to apply filters to photos which promote beauty products if such filters are likely to exaggerate the effect the product is capable of achieving, even if the name of the filter is referenced in the Instagram story.”
Today those rulings have been put in place and it’s because of this campaign. There are a lot of important things that need to be changed online but this was still one of them and I would do anything to go back and tell 12-year-old Sasha she was going to do this.
I used to drastically edit my pictures, I used filters, I spent every waking minute of my days wishing I looked like someone else.
This is still only the start. I started this campaign eight months ago and the amount we’ve achieved together has been mind-blowing. Every single share, comment, like and action has meant I’ve kept going when parts of this process have been so difficult.
Going forward this means that every single time somebody promotes a skincare or beauty product online, we have the highest chance of seeing real skin, real texture, real nose shapes, different lip sizes, the true product colour. The amount of people that will no longer compare themselves to an advert that isn’t achievable without a filter is going to be prolific. We did it. I’m so proud.
Recently, I've been posting in my instastories using beauty filters and it felt good to look "pretty". But I noticed that without those filters, I don't feel confident about myself which is not healthy for my mental health. So, I've decided (with all my might) to post this to stop normalizing beauty filters. With or without filters, we are beautiful in our own way. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working on my insecurities. As they say, fake it till you make it. (Lol) From now on, will try to use instagram as a tool for healing my insecurities. Char, take note ang "try", d sa ko mu-promise. k thanks byeee
The ASA added: “Because the ads conveyed a tanning effect of the product, we considered that the application of the filter 'Perfect Tan' by Bianca Petry to the images was directly relevant to the claimed performance of the product and gave a misleading impression about the performance capabilities of the product."
I am beyond excited to announce that I am going to be a guest speaker at the @cultbeauty #UpCloseOnSkinCare event on 07.01.2021 discussing how virtual filters are changing the beauty world alongside some of the industries most valued. If you’ve followed #FILTERDROP from the start you’ll know my passion for filters and the damage they can cause is something I am adamant to change, so to be asked to speak at this event by one of the best beauty retailers is an absolute honour. Head to my stories to purchase your ticket in exchange for a donation to the incredible charity @beautybanks - I can’t wait to see you there.
People everywhere are struggling to match the beauty standards we see daily on social media platforms, which is what led us to launch our #ElevateDareToBare campaign last year, encouraging our clients and followers to share real, unedited skin selfies and embrace their bare skin in all its glory.
I’ve officially fallen out of love with foundation Concealing my acne used to GIVE ME LIFE. Without it, I know I wouldn’t of had the confidence to do everything I have professionally, socially and romantically .Now, more than a year since I first went barefaced after fourteen years of hiding my acne, I actually prefer my skin without foundation. It highlights every pore, line and scar. And where I once only used to feel myself when wearing makeup, now is the opposite. I realise this is progress I should be proud of but I have mixed feelings. I used to enjoy dressing up and the transformation. Now I guess what I can do with makeup is limited compared to what I can achieve with a filter. Is that it then? Has seeing my skin through a filter ruined makeup for me? What’s your relationship with makeup at the moment? I know since the pandemic, it’s been a great opportunity to break away from concealing every day. Has this helped change the way you feel about your skin? there is no shame in concealing your skin. You do you.
They also issued an order for the ads to be deleted. “The ads must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Skinny Tan and Ms. Norris not to apply beauty filters to photos which promoted beauty products if such filters were likely to exaggerate the effect the product was capable of achieving,” the ASA stated.
Instagram Vs Reality
This was my skin last year (left). I used to say "this is as good as my skin gets". Every ovulation I'd break out about 6 spots in each side of my face.
I genuinely believed and told myself my skin wouldn't heal or improve any more than this because it's what I'd put up with for 6 years. I thought if nothing had changed in 6 years then why would it suddenly now. I accepted that was my skin and that was okay (which it is!).
But even more progress came. My skin took a long time to fully heal without medication. It's nearly been two years of @clearlybasics consistently and finally my skin is managed. I now, for the last 3 months, only breakout out one or at most twice around ovulation and the breakouts soon go.
Coincidence that my skin has been the best it's even been and the most manageable since using the new @clearlybasics Clear Out Extra Strength? No, it's not a coincidence, it's straight up results of good consistent skincare.
I know finding what works for YOU can feel like a never ending process. Unfortunately, it seems acne management is leaning towards "only for the rich". I know with each failed product and purchase it gets so much more disheartening. I know this make us so skeptical of every product and every person who heals their skin. It will happen for you. It won't be like this forever. You acne can be managed and your skin can heal. I promise you this won't last forever. Be patient and kind to yourself as you learn to manage your skin and treat your acne. It's okay, you're not alone. You've got this
here has been so much talk lately online about filters and the damage they can do to someone . I’ve felt so inspired by all the campaigns and posts on here and I feel I’ve learnt so much !! I feel really passionately about it and about embracing natural beauty as much as possible..
I did a flick through some of the filters I’ve seen recently and did some before an afters..
I feel so passionately about this because I was someone who relied a lot on filters over the years ... I was unconfident and insecure in my own skin and believed filters made me “ look better “ . I rarely used my normal camera on my iPhone I always used filter apps ... I never changed the shape of my face or body on editing apps or anything but I just liked to have a filter for a different look because I felt my normal face needed it . It really has taken a lot of hard work and a lot of self love to get to a reasonable good place of acceptance with myself .
I don’t think anyone will ever get to a place of full security with looks but I think if we got to an acceptance and knowing that we don’t have to be “ perfect “ things would be better . I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised just how little looks actually mean ... it’s more important what’s going on in the inside .
I have no problem with people who want to use filters and none of this is a judgment on anyone who does , some of my fav people I follow on insta use them . We don’t know peoples insecurities and what they’ve gone through to use them . I just want young girls especially to know that Instagram isn’t real and perfection isn’t real . We don’t have to look like people in filters ... it’s not real life . People who use them to promote stuff need to be honest about it instead of making it a normality ..
I just think if we constantly use filters we go into a toxic mindset of thinking that’s what we are supposed to look like , we can become reliant on them like I did in the past and it can be dangerous . It can lead to worse problems in later life ... Let’s educate and try and embrace our natural selves
Joining in on the #filterdrop conversation. Being a 40 plus woman I’m already massively underrepresented in mainstream media. Add psoriasis and red veins into this with one facial in a year and here we have my skin. I don’t filter my photos generally . I try to avoid over using a ring light for before and afters because it alters how your skin looks. I’m reasonably confident in my skin. Do I wish I had perfect skin ? Yeah of course. Is that possible ? Probably not. Am I going to feed into filters ? No, because it’s not helpful to me or people that scan this page for advice.. every day we are bombarded with unrealistic images of how we should look. I’m always honest about my injectables or tweakments. That is not without its critics either .. but here’s the thing with Botox and fillers .... if you’re honest when on social media chatting skin it’s better. Not everyone wants or needs it. Good skincare is essential. Good self love is essential. I don’t compare myself and you should try to avoid it too. I spent my 20s crippled with self doubt about my looks but always felt I had a personality to carry it . In my 40s I don’t honestly care. When you grow up with a skin condition you become obsessed with learning about skin. Nobody teaches you how to be comfortable in it. Here I am. Comfortable. I wish that for you too.
There is this constant pressure to “be perfect” and to live up to this unattainable beauty standard It can be damaging as heck to us mentally because majority of the time, we aren’t even thinking about it How many of you put a filter on every time you come on Instagram? (or any social media platform)How much do you really think about it? Is it second nature? Do you just feel better with a filter on? Why?We live in a society where we apologize if we don’t have makeup on, we give reasons for why we aren’t “worthy” to go out or to see people if we have acne or our skin isn’t “perfect” I use quotes because to me perfect and worthy are subjective, it’s how you feel, it’s not how others see you. If you feel beautiful and comfortable and worthy in the skin you’re in, no one will be able to tell you you’re not. (Well they will but you won’t believe it) This is your daily reminder that your pores, scars, hair, acne, bumps are all normal and even if you don’t see it when you go online, trust me even those people have them too. And guess what? It’s probably the least interesting thing about them and YOU. And I urge you to think about if you really need to put a filter on today to feel better or if you can show up authentically you, because the more we start seeing real and raw faces online, the sooner we can dismantle this damaging beauty society (that might I add, profits off our self doubt) and start embracing the skin we’re in.
Why do we need these filters? What purpose do they fulfil? I’m curious to know what you think? They have no place or purpose in my personal opinion. Maybe they’re just a bit of fun. But are they actually causing more harm than good? I’ve read these filters can make people hate their own faces. Shape-shifting their faces to create a face they want through filters and apps. Not realising the face they have is good enough! It makes me sad we have the option to play around with our face and bodies. Killing confidence and increasing mental health problems. We need to teach ourselves and each other how to love what we have. These filters are playing on people’s insecurities. Comparing their natural faces to a cosmetically enhanced edit. “Instagram has been tied to anxiety and depressive symptoms, also concerns such as anxiety related to physical appearance, increased body dissatisfaction, and lower self-esteem.”In this filter, I have lip and cheek filler. My skin is super smooth. My nose is more slender and my eyes a lighter shade of blue to make them look ‘prettier’. What the ?! Why, why, why? A reminder to be proud of the features you were born with. I have nothing against surgery, if it’s done because of a very good reason. Not because you prefer the way you look via a filter. Please don’t be tempted to change the way you look because of social media. You are beautiful. Celebrate who you are and embrace your natural self