HGTV Stars Protest ‘Awful’ Social Media Trend

Jenn Todryk, Christina Hall

Heavy/HGTV HGTV stars Jenn Todryk and Christina Hall

Two HGTV stars are alerting their fans to a new social media trend they refuse to partake in. Jenn Todryk of “No Demo Reno” and longtime network personality Christina Hall of “Christina on the Coast” and “Christina in the Country” have committed to not using filters on their social media videos to enhance their appearance, especially with the recent launch of filters that use artificial intelligence (AI).

On March 22, 2023, Todryk posted a TikTok video of herself testing an AI filter that realistically applied makeup to her face, smoothed out her skin, and enhanced her red hair color like many filters now do, but she pointed out that no movement on her part could alter the so-called improvements. Even if she walked away from the camera, she said, the filter would remain. She ended the video, which she has also shared with her 1.2 million followers on Instagram, revealing what she really looked like while recording and how much the filter had convincingly changed her appearance.

“This is awful,” Todryk said, imploring her fans to think twice before using filters and while viewing other people’s accounts. “Even if it looks real, it might not be real.”

Later that day, Hall shared Todryk’s post in her Instagram Stories and echoed her HGTV colleague’s sentiments. As moms, they both expressed grave concerns that the new technology will have detrimental psychological effects on young people, and are avoiding using filters in their own social media.

Jenn Todryk Challenges Fans to ‘Not Get Sucked Into the Filter Game’

In Todryk’s video, which she wrote in her Instagram Stories has been shared so many times she can’t keep up, she said her social media accounts are always a “no filter zone,” but that this latest technology has her particularly worried.

She said, “I don’t get the filter game. You guys know I’m a no-filter zone 100 percent of the time. And I don’t understand why we’re doing this to ourselves as a society.”

“I challenge you to not get sucked into the filter game because it is so unhealthy,” she added.

According to the photography site PetaPixel, the use of AI filters has exploded on TikTok in 2023. They have the ability to “map out a TikTok user’s face and convincingly alter their appearance — so that it never malfunctions no matter how much the person moves or obscures their visage.”

As an example, PetaPixel said one AI-powered filter called Bold Glamour “realistically airbrushes a person’s face, chisels their jawline and cheekbones, whitens their teeth, and darkens their eyes and eyebrows in real-time.”

In a 2021 study of young women primarily in their early 20s, conducted by City University of London, 90 percent reported using filters or editing their social media photos to improve their personal appearance. The most common reasons were to even out skin tone, brighten skin, whiten teeth, bronze skin, and take off weight in their images.

When she shared her video on Instagram, Todryk wrote that as a mom, “this makes me so incredibly sad and honestly mad.” She has two daughters and one son, all under the age of 10, with her husband Mike, per Distractify.

Todryk, 34, said that she used filters on Instagram in “2018 or 2019” when they first became popular, thinking they were just a fun added feature. But she quickly changed her mind when she realized using them was “misleading” and decided to stop using them altogether.

She wrote, “No matter what every other person on the internet was doing with filters, I wanted to be able to look y’all all in the face and say this is really me, this is only me and for it to be completely honest. So I stopped, very shortly after I started.”

In a follow-up Instagram Story, Todryk addressed followers who have questioned why she doesn’t consider wearing makeup to be as misleading as the social media filters. Todryk said she understands she doesn’t “roll out of bed” all made-up, but that she feels makeup enhances a person’s existing features rather than altering them.

“I feel like they’re extremely different,” she said in her video response. “I feel like makeup cannot come close to an AI filter because AI can structurally change your face and give you something you don’t have as far as, like, a longer nose, a smaller nose.”

Christina Hall Slams Social Media Filters For Promoting ‘Unrealistic Beauty Expectations’

Christina Hall

GettyHGTV star Christina Hall

Hall, 39, shared Todryk’s original video in her Instagram Stories on March 23 and added a caption with her own thoughts on it.

Also a mom of three, Hall wrote, “Seriously … wtfff. So grateful none of this existed in my childhood/young adulthood. Super unhealthy for society/our children. Unrealistic beauty expectations.”

In a 2021 study by ParentsTogether, 61 percent of surveyed teens said “using beauty filters makes them feel worse about how they look in real life.” In addition, the research showed young people who use beauty filters weekly are more likely to want to have cosmetic surgery and to alter their skin color.

Later that day, Hall chose to practice what she preached in a video she posted in her Instagram Stories, appearing without makeup and without any filters.

“Normally, I would swipe once to the right for a small filter but since my last post no filter it is,” she captioned the video.

Hall, who has been open about sharing her journey with multiple health issues including the autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s Disease, talked in her video about beginning to work out again after many years of avoiding the gym, hoping to naturally enhance her body.

She is also a big fan of makeup and sharing new hairstyles with her followers, often promoting her favorite products in her social media posts. On March 3, she wrote on Instagram that with looking her best is taking more effort as she ages.

She wrote, “all things beauty and wellness take a lot longer and require a lot more work with the BIG 40 coming in hottt 🤪”

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