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The “Aged” TikTok Filter: A Commentary on the Fear of Aging for Women

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

The “Aged” TikTok filter is an AI generated filter that shows you an older version of yourself, one that’s decades away. Using it should cause some silly reactions, as filters normally set out to do. However, the reactions to this “Aged” filter, and the videos surrounding this topic, were all based on disgust, shock, sadness, and, lastly, fear. You could especially see these reactions from women and how they were not pleasantly shocked or delighted to see what their faces would look like in the future, despite disputing its credibility

There was notable fear and obvious discomfort as filter users slowly processed what was going on with their faces. This response is a consequence to the social standards that are perpetuated against women on how aging equals being undesirable and unwanted. Society promotes an unhealthy view on aging, especially for women, and connects that to their beauty. Aging signifies experience and an understanding of the world that we live in, it congratulates us for staying and surviving in this world. But because societal standards are centered around the image of fertility and youthfulness, there is an extreme fear of aging.

It is so disappointing that society has equalized youthfulness to beauty and value. Aging is a natural process that is a part of life, and we should not be ashamed of progressively living through the stages of it.

“Not me getting spooked by my own aged face in the middle of the video. *nervously lathers on more sunscreen*TikToker oliviasalmen captions, as she starts explaining how the aging parts of her maybe-future face come together while using the “Aged” TikTok filter. She explains how realistic these filters are but ends the video by jokingly, but also seriously, saying that she’s going to apply sunscreen, which insinuates her fear of aging, dispite acknowledging it. How do we fear something we understand that it’s inevitable? Many TikTokers on the app have the same mindset, but why the fear?

In an Oprah article, written by Michelle Burford, she asked a group of women, “What scares you about aging?” One of the answers read: “I’m worried about losing my looks and feeling the pressure to have plastic surgery.” There’s an overall increase in the pressure women feel to be socially youthful and wanted, because, ultimately, a woman’s experience has always been tied to the reality that we have to be wanted in order to live a life worth living; no matter the consequences. Even mental health issues can be developed during the process of acknowledging our aging as women. Professor Lisa Borrero mentions how the realization of aging brings body dissatisfaction, negative self-evaluation and even symptoms of depression. And even if some women do feel a sense of appreciation for their aging, many have a complicated and confusing dissonance over how society depicts them, making it hard for them to appreciate how they feel and look. 

Ultimately, we must see this TikTok filter as something more than just a fun filter trying to show us our older selves. The reactions caused by this filter are spreading fear and acting as a wake-up call for aging in women. Despite the backlash, there were many others who appreciated looking at themselves decades away and seeing how beautiful old age looked on them. Reminding themselves of a relative or someone close to them. They viewed the concept of aging gratefully, as we should. It is unfortunate that there’s little to no normalcy to appreciate such a natural phenomenon.

Katteryn M. Hilario Valdez is an aspiring writer at Her Campus at UPR. The topics she covers in her articles range from entertainment and fashion to life experiences and mental health awareness. Besides her role on Her Campus, Katteryn is currently a Senior at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, majoring in Psychology. However, she’s also in the works on getting a second major on Journalism. She plans to use her knowledge and practice of writing and media literature to build a successful career on the mix of the two. When she isn’t writing for Her Campus, you can see her writing and reading poetry when she’s inspired, as well as writing essays on the types of media that catch her eye. You can also find her writing songs and doing karaoke in her alone time. In fact, she loves music related shows like High School Musical: The Musical: The Series or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and romantic comedies like 13 Going On 30. She also spends her time digging into anything video game related in her downtime. Most of all, she has an interest in anything she can learn and improve from, always looking to grow her practical and logical skills for her professional and personal career.