glow down challenge


The TikTok glow down challenge is seeing a resurgence

We've had a lot of time to 'reflect' recently.


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 23, 2020   Updated on Jan 27, 2021, 5:22 pm CST

We’ve had a lot of free time over the last month or so, and that’s led to some detours into questionable fashion and viral dances. But the resurgence of the “glow down” challenge on TikTok is really magnifying this period of isolation.

As BuzzFeed notes, earlier this month TikTok user Gabrielle McDonald reflected on the TikTok “glow up” trend that shows how participants transformed from awkward teens to hot adults. But she wanted to see photos of people who “physically peaked in high school” versus what they look like now: the glow down.

She posted her own, to be fair.

Others followed.

Some of these “glow downs” appear to have only happened over the last few years, and the participants still look great. The definition of “peak” body can and must change over the years. But some people took it back even further.

Glow downs have been a trend on TikTok for a while. A trend in which people shared theirs (and celebrity glow downs), soundtracked by a warped remix of “Please Mr. Postman,” was popular in 2019.


anyways, I absolutely peaked in 2013, and I will forever be jealous of her #fyp #foryoupage #BestThingSince #2013 #greenscreen #glowup #glowdown ?

♬ I peaked in 2013 – tankyounext

But we’ve had a lot of time to reflect recently: staring into Zoom meetings and Face Times, seeing our pale visages staring back at us. The glow down is eternal. Embrace it.


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*First Published: Apr 23, 2020, 12:20 pm CDT