In a world plagued with cover girls, Photoshop, airbrush, eating disorders, self-doubt, self-hate, and self-mutilation, the Dove “Redefine Beauty” ads have taken a stance against “mainstream Hollywood pretty.” Their ads, which now strive to show real beauty, are laden with — you guessed it — real women. Models and actresses do not grace their ad pages in magazines or even their commercials on TV. Rather, everyday women are the new face of the company. It’s a powerful message — one that more companies should emulate. Normal women, normal girls, normal people — advertising real products. Why is that such a strange concept? It shouldn’t be.
In their newest batch of #girlpower ads, Dove debuted, at Sundance Film Festival, an emotional and sincere short film titled Selfie. The film centers around high school-aged girls and their mothers. The women are all encouraged to take selfies and display the photos in a local art show. Dove’s intended message is that selfies and social media should be used to empower women, as the product of the image is quite literally in our hands.
The film, directed by well known documentarian Cynthia Wade, offers a hauntingly beautiful access into the minds of young girls and middle aged women. While being asked about their own appearance, the teenage girls are heard saying such gut-wrenching things as “It’s hard to take a good picture,” “I look like a boy,” and perhaps the hardest to digest, “I hate my whole face.” The girls are then asked about how their mothers’ self-esteem affects how they view themselves and it is very clear that there is oftentimes a correlation between a mother’s confidence and that of her child’s. One daughter confides that “when you hear [your mother] talk about her insecurities, you focus on your own.”
The film, which at times was emotionally difficult to watch, wrapped up its brief eight minutes with the women of all ages viewing their own photos at the art exhibit. Visitors had left uplifting messages on post-it notes, their comments often complimenting the very things the women had been most self-conscious of. It was a touching film with an inspiring message. Stop the self-hatred. Love yourself. Embrace the imperfections. You are beautiful.
Image via Heavy Artillery