Dove’s ‘Selfie’ film asks how does social media affect our view of beauty?

Dove debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival a short film about how social media affects our view of beauty. The film is posted above.  Here’s more about what the filmmakers hope to accomplish.

From Mashable:

“The 7-minute short film called ‘Selfie’ follows a series of teenagers and their mothers who are asked to take self-images that highlight their insecurities about the way they look. In an experiment reminiscent of Dove’s viral “beauty sketches” ad, the participants learn some of their disliked attributes are what others consider to be the most beautiful.”

“At the backbone of ‘Selfie’ is research conducted by Dove which revealed 63% of women believe social media is influencing today’s definition of beauty more than print media, film and music. The film, directed by documentary filmmaker Cynthia Wade and produced by Sharon Liese, aims to empower women to redefine the traditional perception of beauty found in glossy magazines and movies.”

“The way women are defining beauty today is changing dramatically, and social media has much to do with the change,” Wade said. “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.”

I think it’s an interesting perspective that social media allows people to see a broader array of images so girls aren’t just exposed to air-brushed super-thin models. You’re seeing real people. However, I have to say that a lot of times Facebook just makes me think everyone looks better photos than I do. ( You also have to wonder sometimes how long it takes to capture that great image.)

So what did you think of the film? Would you watch it with your daughter? (I do plan to show my 12-year-old.) I think it does hit some good discussion material talking about what you’re insecure about and how everyone else would say “That’s crazy, you’re X,Y or Z is fine!” Do you think social media has a good, bad or indifferent affect on how girls perceive their beauty?

9 comments Add your comment


January 21st, 2014
9:43 am

This is good for females of all ages in the social media world we live in. I’m 31 and “standard of beauty” that I see tossed around on Twitter/FB/Instagram is a self-esteem killa if you let it be. Nowadays, you can’t really tell what ppl look like anyway with a face full of makeup and filtered pics. Being a parent of a 5 yr old girl, one can do the best they can and teach them as well as the boys that your value isn’t placed in a RT or like.


January 21st, 2014
9:49 am

I thought this was pretty trite, actually. “Beauty is redefining yourself”, really? How did any of these young woman actually DO that? They took selfies, as everybody does, and had a friendly group of viewers provide positive feedback. That’s certainly a good thing, but it doesn’t adjust the constant comparisons we all make with others; whether it be appearance, money, athleticism, etc. etc.


January 21st, 2014
11:20 am

This is nothng more that a marketing play disguised as concern. As long as Dove and the other’s in the beauty busness continue to hire only those actresses that meet these criteria to shill thier snake oil, nothing will change. After all, a dissatisfied populace is what they need to fuel purchases.


January 21st, 2014
3:01 pm

This video was too warm and fuzzy. It would have been more effective or real if it included the negative comments that will inevitably happen when these girls post selfies… and their ability to rise above the negative. To me, it seemed a bit too fake to have all of these girls post selfies and then, of course, everyone participating in the group, says nice things about the pictures. That is not what these kids are experiencing in real life.

I think the most significant part of that is the part about the mother’s influence. I am very concious of this because I had a mom who hated (still does) everything about her own body (shape, hair, smile, feet, fingernails etc etc etc) and was very vocal about it. She never said anything negative about me, but I internalized everything she said.

I can’t stand it when I hear mom’s criticizing themselvs in front of their kids and always talking about how they need to be “on a diet” or they don’t like their smile, or whatever. I am overweight myself, but I have made a concious effort never to criticize my own appearance. This doesn’t mean I don’t have insecurities, but I don’t discuss them with my kids. When they ask my why my belly is big, I’m honest and tell them that I have been making some poor food choices and being overweight is a consequence. But I never call myself I’m fat or degrade myself. When they ask me why I exercise, I say because I want to be healthy and live a long time. I never say to lose weight or get skinny. I think there is enough people who will be you up in life and say horrible things and tell you you’re not good enough, why should I that to myself. When we say those things to ourselves, we are teaching our kids to say it to themselves.

When we look at our kids, we say..”you’re crazy for thinking that way, you are beautiful just the way you are”. When they look at us, they think the same thing. But their best example of beauty and confidence gets torn apart, not by the media (that’s a copout), but by our own self criticism. They learn it from us.


January 21st, 2014
7:26 pm

I just don’t like stuff like this, as it just shows women to be weak. There are always going to be people that are thinner, richer, younger, and more successful than you, and honestly the women I know are too busy to worry about crap like this. It drives me crazy.


January 21st, 2014
9:28 pm

Men want women who are healthy and attractive. Women compare themselves to other women and compete with them, causing their troubles. Let women and girls stop trying to outdo other women and girls, and everything will be fine. It is women who make other women bulimic and anorexic. Don’t blame the men. All we want is attractive and healthy.


January 22nd, 2014
1:13 am

Real Life

January 22nd, 2014
6:06 am

This is nothing more than a commercial with a specific objective. I grew up with phrases about beauty–that it is only skin deep, that it is in the eye of the beholder, etc. Now Dove is promoting a new phrase–beauty is redefining yourself.
All of us are surprised at one time or another when we find out that someone views us differently than we view ourselves. Maybe it is our looks, but it might be other things about us as well. That different view might be positive, as in this commercial, or it might be negative.
Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves, but a catch-phrase in a commercial is not something that will change things Dove’s campaign has gotten a lot of publicity, but what is the point of this campaign? Simply to sell a product.
We spend too much time trying to live up to media’s expectations for us. The best we can do is to learn to be comfortable with ourselves and a self-serving commercial with a tag-line and good press is not the way to go about it.


January 22nd, 2014
8:37 am

Are we down to two posts a week now? Is this the new normal?