Dove has once again made us believe in ourselves with the 2014 Sundance Film Festival debut of their 7-minute short film, Selfie. This new PSA documentary asks women to see the positive value social media has in shaping the way our culture perceives beauty, rather than being afraid of it. A tip of the hat goes to Dove, they have truly become the face of positive reinforcement for women in a time when we are bombarded by Photoshopped models daily. Not only has it debuted at Sundance, but Dove has also released it online for the public to view. Watch Selfie, in full, after the break.
In keeping with the tradition of celebrating real beauty and loving who you are, Dove does a wonderful job here at tackling a serious issue teens face in modern society, social media. A study conducted by Dove uncovered that 63% of women believe social media has a greater influence than print, film, and music in defining the perception of beauty. Oscar winning director Cynthia Wade (Freeheld) approaches the subject matter by asking a group of teenagers and their mothers to take selfies that highlight their physiclal insecurities. What she hopes to accomplish with Selfie is to empower women in altering traditional views on appearance and changing the conversation to a highlight natural beauty. Wade states,
“The way women are defining beauty today is changing dramatically, and social media has much to do with the change. The way women are defining beauty today is changing dramatically, and social media has much to do with the change. Now, we have the ability to photograph the beauty we see in our friends and ourselves. When we share these diverse images on our social networks, we are taking personal ownership and truly redefining beauty.”
As powerful of a message Selfie has to offer, I think there is a bigger elephant in the room that the film does not address. Social media is an uphill battle that Dove, and anyone else for that matter, may not be ready to face head on. And what truly needs to be evaluated and evolved is how we comment on social media, as well as the comments themselves.
If you check out an Instagram account of a model or a celebrity that is perceived as “sexy” you’ll find a slew of some of the most disturbing and off-putting comments you could ever imagine – not just lewd remarks asking for a blowy or any number of sexual favors, but demeaning, degrading, and spiteful words as well. It’s as if these people believe they are living in their own virtual world where their words have no repercussions, a safe haven to say whatever they want because they are not face-to-face with this person or anyone else in the conversation. And the funny thing is, some people who make these remarks use their real names. Of course the worst offenders come from those represented only by a username. Sadly, the the worst thing that can happen to them is that the get blocked, which ultimately doesn’t do anything, or they will get told off by another commenter. What happened to “if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all”? How people are judging others physically online needs to be emphasized, and goes hand-in-hand with how we perceive ourselves to be. That is the real challenge my friend, that is what’s hurting our self-esteem to begin with, and it’s only going to get worse the more we allow this to happen.
But overall, Selfie is another successful campaign video Dove can feel proud about. I totally support their effort in creating a more loving world, even if it is in baby steps. A movement does not start overnight, but we can definitely get the ball rolling.
You can learn more about Dove’s campaign at DoveBeautyIs.com.
Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus