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The internet is captivated by TikTok's 'Aged' filter

Some are spiraling at the prospect of growing old, while others welcome the sight of their aged faces.

TikTok’s viral Aged filter is drawing mixed reactions online, causing some to express horror at how they might age while others embrace seeing themselves grow old.

The filter, which overlays the face in real time, deepens wrinkles and adds facial sagging. For many, it also thins the lips and aggravates hyperpigmentation.

Its hyper-realism has pushed Gen-Z and millennial TikTok users to confront existential fears about the unavoidable process of aging in a culture that commonly associates beauty with a youthful appearance.

In a video that got 1.5 million likes, a user spoofed her updated skin care routine “ever since I used the aged filter.” The post showed the creator vigorously washing and applying products to her face before she finished off with a thorough ice rolling and gua sha regimen.

Multiple commenters claimed they bought retinol the day they used the filter. Another TikTok user captured her reaction to her Aged face by slathering her face in sunscreen.

“That filter really hurt my feelings,” a commenter wrote. “Gonna be bathing in retinol and sunscreen from now on.”

Some also wondered whether they should consider cosmetic procedures to slow the effects of aging.

“Is it really worth pumping my face full of Botox every three months?” a user said in a TikTok video with the filter on. “And what do I do about jowls? I don’t want those. I will never want those.”

The filter’s realism has also spurred attempts to gauge its accuracy by comparing users’ and celebrities’ current faces to its artificially generated effects on photos of their younger selves. Some have found the filter to be spot-on in predicting how people aged, while others showcased dramatic disparities between the filter and reality.

But several viral iterations of the trend have focused on accepting, and even welcoming, the prospect of aging. A user racked up more than 2.3 million likes after she remarked in a TikTok video that her Aged self looks like a fun aunt who’ll “tell you dirty jokes and let you sneak an extra cookie while your mom isn’t looking.”

Another wrote in her video that she cannot wait to meet her older self. Some in the comments, however, were quick to point out that the filter appears to have aged certain users more gracefully than others.

“why did it age you like 10 years and it aged me 70,” read one comment, which got more than 36,000 likes.

Some users also found comfort in being greeted by the familiar faces of their parents or their grandparents after having applied the filter. One creator posted a TikTok video comparing her Aged face to a photo of her late grandmother.

“I almost had a heart attack when I put this filter on my face, and it’s not for the same reasons that everybody else is. I don’t care about aging,” she said in the video. “But take this in. I look just like my grandmother.”

Another creator expressed her surprise at how much she resembled her mother, joking that she could now see herself making the same critical comments about other people’s weight or the cleanliness of their apartments.

An actor and filmmaker with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome took the trend as an opportunity to remind her audience that aging is in itself a privilege.

“As someone who was told I wouldn’t live to see my 30th birthday, this filter made me feel some things,” she wrote with her video.