Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

TikTok customers of a sure age are getting a heavy dose of nostalgia with a brand new trending filter that purports to wind again time to your teenage self.

Teenage Look, which largely works by smoothing out wrinkles, has shortly racked up 3.4 million views so far, typically paired with the melody from The Verve Pipe’s 1996 alt heartbreak tune “The Freshmen.” However whereas child face and getting older filters have beforehand made the rounds on social media platforms for the easy novelty of seeing your self time journey instantaneously, lots of the top-liked posts teenage-filter posts are somber in tone, as customers say they’re getting a flashback to a few of their most early life.

“If you happen to’re younger and also you’re questioning why us previous individuals are freaking out about this filter, it is as a result of 20, 30 years from now in your head you are still gonna assume you appear to be this,” says TikTok consumer mandertok in a single video, with the filter on in order that he seems youthful. “After which there can be some form of filter that makes you understand you appear to be this now,” he continues, exhibiting the break up display together with his actual, visibly older self.

Whereas some TikTokers are maintaining it mild, exhibiting actual photos of their teenage selves (good day, former scene youngsters with dangerous hair) others are utilizing the filter to speak in regards to the lack of self-confidence they’d in highschool or the troublesome experiences they confronted, utilizing break up screens of the earlier than and after to impart life recommendation to their “youthful” selves.

Although lots of the posts that includes tears and shocked faces can really feel performative for virality’s sake (it’s TikTok, in spite of everything), there’s something jarring about having the ability to see a face that hasn’t regarded again at you within the mirror for a while. Some customers have mentioned how the filter has kicked up previous feelings associated to trauma they skilled throughout these years, whereas others stated it is given trans and non-binary people the chance to see a youthful self that matches with their gender identification.

“Okay y’all, if you happen to’re any person who has modified the way in which they current themselves as an grownup or have transitioned in a roundabout way and also you wanna have a second, say hello to the 12-year-old you that in all probability did not get to exist,” the consumer worriersmusic stated in a single video.
Nevertheless, filters have recurrently been criticized broadly for worsening vanity points, and an anti-aging filter in an anti-aging society, notably for girls, appears primed to perpetuate this drawback. One small examine from 2019 linked social media filter use with greater acceptance of beauty surgical procedure, whereas researchers from Harvard Enterprise Overview discovered in 2021 that folks with excessive confidence of their appears can truly be rattled extra by seeing “enhancements” to their face versus those that already had insecurities. And whereas the “Teenage Look” filter could not all the time be correct at exhibiting an earlier you, as many customers have famous, it’s extra natural-looking than lots of the uncanny valley or soft-focus magnificence filters in circulation.

Upon making use of the filter, some customers have additionally commented that the indicators of age seem extra pronounced within the unfiltered picture.

“Significantly, they’re making the ‘now’ look worse to make it extra dramatic, proper? Proper?!” mandertok half-jokingly wrote within the video’s caption.

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