Are selfies hurting or helping teen self-esteem? That’s a question we’ve already explored here at Teenbeing (lack-of-spoiler alert: it’s complicated).
But Monday at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign—now celebrating 10 years of brazen (as far as the beauty world is concerned), conversation-changing initiatives— premiered a brand new 8-minute documentary short called Selfie. After watching, you can say it has us excited about how the answer to this very complex question is evolving. The film left our hearts a little warmed. It left us hopeful.
Why? In the video, moms and daughters speak frankly about their physical insecurities. They also talk about how each others’ anxieties influence their own appearance-related concerns. And while some of the confessions will deliver a swift punch to your gut (“I want to say that I hate my whole face,” says one girl), the film—by encouraging these teens and their mothers to embrace social media as a way to redefine beauty—literally puts the power back in their hands. (Those hands are typing #BeautyIs. Go ahead, give it a search.)
Heck, who are we kidding? Even if you take away that cool social media campaign components, we’re happy this happening. Period. When we were young, body image and beauty ideals weren’t something we were encouraged to talk about. Our struggles felt undefined. They felt lonely. Aren’t we right?
It’s also worth mentioning that the doc itself is supported by original research conducted by Dove, which found that 63% of women believe social media is influencing today’s definition of beauty more than print media, film and music. If you ask us, that’s huge. Our daughters (or students, or readers, or nieces, or little sisters) are growing up in a world where there’s an antidote to slick photoshopped images and homogeneous characters on TV and in movies. Let’s use this unbelievable opportunity to teach them to own their own beauty, celebrate diversity…and not care too much about getting likes and faves in return. (Yeah, that’s the tricky part—thoughts?)
Watch the film for yourself, then let us know what you think.