Why Gabrielle Union Can't Condone the Bold Glamour Filter as a Mom: "I'm Harming Us All"

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25: Gabrielle Union arrives to the 54th Annual NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 25, 2023 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images
Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Gabrielle Union has been a longtime advocate for mental health, often speaking out about her personal experiences. And this time, she's opening up about the damage that filters can do. In a campaign for Dove, the "Bring It On" star got vulnerable about the popular "bold glamour" filter circulating on TikTok, which has now been used over 15 million times.

"Gotta admit, totally tried it and I was like gahhh, mmm, mhmmm. And I felt really good, except I didn't, and I left it in the drafts," Union said in a Dove Instagram Story, while showing a video of herself with the bold glamour filter on.

Though the filter may show a "prettier" and "more glamorous" version of users, many people have called out the digital-distortion feature for diminishing their self-confidence and triggering those with body dysmorphia. For Union, using the filter even made her feel anxious, and she struggled to make sense of her mixed emotions.

"It left me feeling anxious and sad and old and like blah," Union went on to say. But a part of her also liked the version of herself that was being presented through the filter. "I liked it too much and part of why we all like it so much is because it actually blurs the lines of reality."

And blurring the lines of reality is just not something she can cosign, especially as a mother who is trying to teach her kids acceptance and promote mental health. "If I'm a mom who's teaching positive affirmations every night with my kids hoping they love themselves, and I'm leading by saying the only way I feel great is by erasing myself, I'm harming us all," Union said.

For that reason, Union teamed up with Dove to encourage viewers to turn their back on the trend by using the hashtag #TurnYourBack and stopping use of the filter completely. To her, using this filter is not only harmful to viewer's mental health, but also their children's mental health too.

The actor and entrepreneur pointed out that that filters like this can be impactful on young children, adding that 80 percent of kids — and girls specifically — have already used a filter by age 13. And we already know that social media and the way we view ourselves on these platforms can make or break one's self-esteem. But setting boundaries or not using filters at all, like Union suggests, can be incredibly helpful.

When it comes to social media, it's important to remember to protect your peace, whether that means opting out of a filter trend or taking a break from social media altogether. Do what's best for you.