The Latest Social Media Trend Is All About Going Unfiltered

Many of the videos are set to Alessia Cara's 2015 hit "Scars To Your Beautiful" because, well, they are — and these clips want you to know that.

Photo: PeopleImages/Getty

Social media filters have come a long way from the old-school flower crown and tongue-out doggy face and in their place today are the popular skin-smoothing, face-altering options that rid selfies of skin texture, tones, scars, and, well, everything that makes you unique. Spend enough time scrolling through the 'gram and it becomes increasingly more difficult to differentiate between real and fake — and this can have a major impact on your mental health and body image. But a new trend is calling out the edited selfies saturating social media and inviting users to instead show off their filter-less faces.

Essentially a celebration of everyone's unique features (insert praise emoji), the trend involves using the "Filter vs. Reality" effect on Instagram that serves up a split-screen so you can see your face both naturally and with a filter that changes your eye color, lip size, skin texture, and more. Most of the videos are set to the sound of Alessia Cara's 2015 hit "Scars To Your Beautiful," which is just so fitting. Alongside filtered and real faces, people are writing messages about embracing the very things social media often makes you feel like are flaws, imperfections, or something to hide, alter, or edit away.

Take Instagram user @embracing_reality's video, for example. The clip begins with her moving from the filtered side to the natural side of the effect with a text caption that reads, "hi beautiful (yes you!) let me remind you that you don't need any filter that edits away your uniqueness." She then gets close to the camera to show off the differences in her facial features, writing "having skin texture, pores, scars, pimples, uneven skin, and such things are just human and nothing you need to hide!"

In her own take on the trend, trainer Kelsey Wells echoes @embracing_reality's sentiments. "It is tough enough to not compare yourself to others you see online please do not filter yourself so often and so heavily that you begin comparing the REAL you to you filtered. Filters can be fun but YOU are beautiful, just the way you are," she writes in a text caption. "Tonight when you wash your face, look in the mirror and give yourself some love ❤️." (Want even more inspo from Wells? Check out this 20-minute dumbbell leg workout by the fitfluencer herself.)

Other 'grammars such as @naturalljoi, @tzsblog, and @xomelissalucy also note that filters are fun and okay to use on occasion — hey, bad breakouts happen — but emphasize the importance of, in @tzsblog's words, "filters are filters, they're not real life. And you're BEYOND that filter." (Meanwhile, Demi Lovato recently vowed to no stop using filters altogether and called them "dangerous.")

Across Instagram, other versions of the trend are taking off too. For example, many users are posting videos to audio from @lovelifecurls, in which she instructs the subject to show off their face with a filter (i.e. the "Luminous" effect) and then remove the filter and zoom in "to your most textured area on your face." This close-up really shows the refreshingly real difference between altered skin and all the parts that make The audio ends with a mantra-like statement, "This is my face. This is normal." (See: Cassey Ho "Decoded" Instagram's Beauty Standard — Then Photoshopped Herself to Match It)

Of course, filters are fun to experiment and play around with, but embracing all the things that make you special is always worth showing off — because it's true, you're genuinely perfect just as you are, so do like Beyoncé and "wake up, flawless."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles