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upworthy

beauty standards

@tallulah.roseb/TikTok

Maybe she's born with it. But maybe it just modern day cosmetics.

A woman named Tallulah Rose recently went viral after sharing a well-intentioned, but oh-so misinformed compliment men tend to give her. It left a lot of other women nodding in agreement, because it revealed what still seems to be a common beauty myth.

"I actually just, like, don't understand men and how their brain works sometimes because today I was just minding my own business when this guy comes up to me and is like ‘you are so elegant, you are such a natural beauty,'" she said in the clip.

Of course, Rose is positive any other woman would instantly know that the beauty men are responding to is anything but natural.


“I think a woman can take one look at me and be like … this is fake,” she said before breaking down the costs of enhancements she’s made.

“My jawline cost $10,000, okay? My lips are clearly done. My hair is $2000, my lashes are $200 every two weeks.”

jawline cosmetic surgery, natural cosmetic procedures

"My jawline costs $10,000, okay?"

@tallulah.roseb/TikTok

She then lifted her bangs to show a wrinkle-less forehead and immovable eyebrows, thanks to Botox or some other kind of anti-wrinkle injection. Plus, she has “enough makeup on to season a f***ing wok.”

Still, men will wistfully tell her “ 'they don't make them like you do these days.” to which Rose quipped, “yes they do with a needle and a scalpel!”

plastic surgery, cosmetic procedures

"They don't make 'em like you these days…yes they do! With a needle and a scalpel!"

@tallulah.roseb/TikTok

Since sharing this hot take, Rose’s video has garnered over 12 million views on TikTok and has been shared across several platforms. Most of the comments came from women who have had their own fair share of this experience.

Some were just as hilarious as the original video.

"My husband was like 'please never get Botox' If I could raise my eyebrows at him I would have,” one person wrote.

Another added, ““I’ve had male friends remark how I don’t wear heavy makeup like other girls. I spend at least 30 mins a day putting my face on.”

Over on X, people were just refreshed by Rose’s honesty.

Rose told news.com.au that many men “genuinely can’t tell the difference between a natural woman and a woman that has had cosmetic surgery,” primarily due to seeing celebrities who have had work done and assuming that’s the standard. She’ll often ask male friends to name a celebrity crush, and “they’ll name someone that has clearly had work done but they are just quite clueless to it.”

And that is really where the important conversation comes in. Unrealistic beauty standards aren’t necessarily a new issue. But now the paradox of cosmetic procedures being stigmatized while at the same time not even acknowledged in much of what is touted as natural beauty puts women in an impossible position. They can’t naturally live up to these expectations, and then are labeled as fake if they do make efforts to look enhanced (which is the new normal…make it make sense).

Point is: Praising a woman for her “natural beauty” might be intended as a compliment. But for many, it’s neither true, nor a compliment.

Pop Culture

Fans had the best response after Emilia Clarke was mocked by gamer for sharing candid selfie

The comment sparked a bigger conversation about how we react to women aging.

Fandom.com, @MillerStream/Twitter

An innocent selfie became the subject of harsh criticism.

Emilia Clarke is best known for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” Clarke was 24 years old when she took on the iconic role, and during the filming process, she survived two life-threatening brain aneurysms. The actress has since become an advocate for other survivors of brain trauma, not to mention a fabulous role model for relentless optimism.

It is now 12 years after “Game of Thrones” premiered. Understandably, Clarke does not look the same way she did when she was a younger woman (after a lengthy stint in the makeup chair and under well-curated lighting, no less). And yet, a candid selfie that was posted to her Instagram received multiple remarks lamenting that her face looked different than it did over a decade ago.


Fans were quick to rush to Clarke’s defense, and in the process it led to a more universal conversation about how society often views women as they grow older.

The post in question was a photo sharing a gift from Clarke’s mom—a mug which read “You’re doing f**king great.”

“Mum got me a mug. I felt it was important to share this new found wisdom. Use it and reap the rewards 🤌💪🏻🥳❤️” Clarke wrote in the post’s caption.

While many fans shared their appreciation for Clarke’s infectious positivity, a few were, shall we say…not so kind.

Gamer Jon Miller shared a screenshot of Clarke’s post to Twitter, writing, “Lmao wow Daenerys Targaryen didn’t just hit the wall she flew into it full speed on a dragon.” While Miller’s wasn’t the only rude comment, this one in particular went viral.

Many people felt this was further proof that, especially with the rising popularity of cosmetic procedures and extreme beauty filters on social media, we have collectively forgotten that aging is a completely natural process.

One person wrote in a Twitter comment: “The rise of surgical and procedural interventions has seriously warped people’s perception and acceptance of other people.....checks notes..... aging naturally.”

Another quipped: “hitting a wall apparently means your eyes wrinkle a little when u smile now.”

And another added: “This is a normal looking woman?? Do people not know anymore how people outside of edited social media posts look like?????????”

As many pointed out, Clarke is far from the only woman to be criticized for showing a wrinkle or two. “This trend of shaming women for aging (which is uncontrollable and happens to everyone) is really weird,” wrote one person.

Thankfully, plenty of people noted how bonkers this viewpoint is.

One fan wrote: “Emilia Clarke was beautiful when she was 22, she’s still an extremely beautiful woman here. She’s just aged…which hasn’t made her any less beautiful. I fail to see the problem with this picture.”

Another said: “Aging is a privilege and doing it so naturally and with such grace in a world of filters and plastic surgery is even more so.”

Clarke herself has previously shared her own thoughts on aging, telling Elle: "You've got this idea of aging, and then you've got the idea of what aging makes you look like. At 34, I am wiser, more intelligent, I've had more experiences, I've done all this stuff, and I'm proud of that. You can only do that because you are the age you are. Time is the only thing that allows you to do those things. So, if my face is gonna reflect the time that I've spent on this earth, I'm down for that.

While it seems like the Mother of Dragons is far from fazed by any criticisms of her appearance, many people are impacted (and harmed) by unfair beauty standards. That’s why it’s important to bring these types of conversations to light. For as much progress as there has been, clearly there is still some work to do if we want to collectively move past treating women as though their value comes with an expiration date, and instead, let them just live their lives.

Pop Culture

TikTok's scarily precise, too-real beauty filter has people rightfully freaked

Women should not feel 'devastated' by their real faces, yet here we are.

The Bold Glamour filter on TikTok takes social media filters to a whole other level.

First, allow me to introduce myself—and my "Bold Glamour" alter-ego—via TikTok:

Freaky, right?

Normally, I'm good with the way my face looks. (One of the gifts of your late 40s is fully embracing your face in all its glory.) But I was surprised to find that the longer I used that filter, the more…well, homely my real face started to feel. There's just no way for my real face to compare to the model-like one in that video, because this filter isn't just a faux makeup job. It basically gave me plastic surgery, botox and a Photoshop airbrush to boot, and as overdone as it is, looking in the mirror after making that video really did trigger some insecurities about my real face that I didn't think I had.


If a beauty filter can make me start to feel "meh" about my looks, I can only imagine what it's doing to the psyches of young women who don't have decades of life experience and confidence-building behind them.

Visual artist Memo Akten shared a thread on Twitter illustrating how scary these unreal-yet-too-real filters are, with examples from women illustrating how they do a number on our brains.

“I don't wanna be known as the TikTok filter guy, but ICYMI after attacking GenX w teenage filter, TikTok just dropped a new filter to take out Millennials & GenZ," he wrote. "'Beauty filters' are not new, but the precision on this is beyond uncanny. This is psychological warfare & pure evil.”

Women are sharing how a hyper-real filter like this breeds and fuels insecurity, which is the last thing we need when we are already fighting body image and beauty standard battles on multiple fronts.

@meghan__lane__

Yall gotta take this filter down i dont know her SHES A WHOLE DIFFERENT PERSON

Video filters in general can be a lot of fun. My teens and I have a blast playing around with Snapchat filters that make everyone look like they're crying or turn people into cartoon characters and all kinds of silly things. But this is not that. This is leaning fully into Kardashian-esque beauty culture and creating an illusion that impossible beauty standards might actually be possible. Seeing is believing, after all.

Consciously, we know it's an illusion. It's just a filter. It's not real. But that doesn't change how our minds process seeing our filtered faces, nor does it change the very real impact they have on our self-image.

"I definitely see a new theme to body dysmorphic concerns," Dr. Josie Howard, a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in psychodermatology told InStyle. "People begin to expect themselves to look like their filtered self and can become obsessed with achieving that in the real world, which leaves them depressed, anxious, lonely, and disappointed."

Experts have been sounding the alarm about the link between augmented reality filters and body image issues. As Harvard Business Review reports, "Physical appearance is a key component of identity and as such it can have a substantial impact on psychological well-being. Studies have shown that virtually modifying appearance can provoke anxiety, body dysmorphia, and sometimes even motivate people to seek cosmetic surgery."

But we don't even have to tap professional researchers to tell us all this. Just ask any portrait photographer about the changes they've seen in their clientele since the advent of social media filters. Here's one photographer describing how she sees beautiful women feeling "devasted" by how they look in photos because they want to look like what they see in their filtered social media posts.

@coffeetillvodka

This filter is INSANE! Its so real, and i can see how damaging this could be. #filters #women #aging #youth #beauty #reality #photography #womensempowerment #mentalhealth

Photo editing and filters have been around for a long time, but that doesn't mean they haven't gotten more ubiquitous and more damaging. A shift in lighting to get rid of unflattering shadows is a very different beast than a filter that changes your entire facial structure and texture to look like a magazine ad.

I would argue that this too-real video filter, which allows you to see yourself in real-time with a model-perfect face, is far more problematic than already-problematic-enough photo filters. Having your face altered that way and having your own movements and your own voice attached to it…it messes with you, even when you know it's not real. I experienced it myself in just a matter of minutes, and I consider myself fairly immune to such things.

For young women and girls who are just in the early stages of forming their self-image, it's an extremely dangerous social experiment. Parents, please talk to your kids about the psychological impact beauty filters like these can have, and maybe encourage them to stick to ones that turn faces into horseheads or make flowers fly out of their mouths instead. Those who profit off of women's insecurities aren't going to altruistically change, so it's up to all of us to make sure young people internalize that filters are phony and their faces are fine, just as they are.

Photo by Trevor Buntin on Unsplash

My daughter asking me why I wear makeup led to big conversations about beauty.

"Mommy, why do you wear makeup?"

I don't remember how old my first daughter was when she asked me that question, but I do remember feeling unprepared for it. Such a simple and reasonable question seems like it should have a simple and reasonable answer, but as I looked at her young face, I thought about how my answer could shape her entire view of women and beauty and her own self-image.

The full truth of why I wear makeup is complicated, as I'm sure it is for most women. I started wearing makeup mainly to cover up acne as a teen, but I remember being younger and feeling intrigued by eye makeup on magazine models. I started to mess around around with eye shadow and eye liner because it was fun to "paint" my face.

I like wearing makeup and always have. It truly can be fun, but I'd be fooling myself to believe that societal standards of beauty don't also play a significant role in my choices now. I wear makeup because it makes me feel prettier and more "put together," even when it's just a quick five-minute routine. It makes my skin look better and brighter and it brings out my eyes. I think of it as enhancing my beauty rather than creating it.


There's nothing wrong or unusual about that, but everything gets viewed through a different lens when you're explaining something to a child—especially our own child.

I've never wanted to put society's arbitrary and unattainable beauty standards on my daughters. I wanted them to reject anything that told them they weren't good enough just as they are. I didn't want them to feel like they needed to wear makeup to feel beautiful; I wanted them to choose how to define beauty for themselves. I wanted them to feel comfortable enough in their own skin to go without makeup, but also confident enough in their own choices to do whatever they wanted with their faces.

How could I explain why I wear makeup in a way that conveyed all of that to my young daughter without prematurely planting those pressures in her mind?

If this all sounds overwrought and overthought, it is. Welcome to womanhood, where every choice we make about our bodies is a mishmosh of historical patriarchy and corporate marketing, with some constant self-judgment and overanalysis thrown in for good measure.

My husband and I wanted to do what we could to ease those pressures for our girls, so we tried to talk about beauty in a way that was authentic and healthy as they were growing up. From the beginning, we talked a lot about beauty being about your inner state, not your outer presentation. We wanted our girls to internalize that message deeply before years of ads and billboards and magazines and Victoria's Secret told them otherwise.

That was a solid parenting choice, but I couldn't help but wonder if me putting on makeup felt like a mixed message. Was I being hypocritical, preaching that beauty on the inside is what matters, but trying to make myself more beautiful on the outside? One could take that argument to an extreme, not engaging in any grooming at all because outer beauty is just a facade, but that just seems silly and wrong. Ultimately, I told her the truth in all its complicated glory.

"Because I think it's fun," I said, realizing that would probably just make her want to wear it when she was still way too young.

"And because it makes me feel more 'put together,'" I said, hoping that wouldn't make her view women who don't wear makeup as not put together.

"And because it highlights my natural beauty," I said, knowing that the constant questions about what counts as beauty would soon begin to bombard her.

It wasn't a perfect answer, but it was honest and sometimes honest is the best we can do.

My daughters are 22 and 18 now, and since that initial question we've had many more conversations about makeup, beauty, personal grooming and how society and individuals judge such things. Thankfully, I found it easier to talk about beauty as they grew older, as they started to understand how pressures from people we know and people we don't can impact the choices we make.

Those pressures can go both ways, they found. One of my daughters felt pressure not to wear makeup and had to navigate her way through doing what was right for her. I'm happy to say that they have grown into young women who question beauty standards and challenge people's judgments from all sides, ultimately landing on what makes them feel best in their own skin. That's really all I had hoped for them.

Phew. Being a woman in this world can be complicated, but raising women in this world is entirely next-level.