Posted on: 01/29/14 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Dove-Real-Beauty-SelfieDove does it again, delivering another eye-opening piece about women’s self image, and providing a great opportunity to talk with our young girls about their insecurities (prompting me to write this discussion you can use with their video, with small group questions, scripture and a wrap up).

You might remember Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches,” where a forensic artist was asked to draw sketches of women based on their own descriptions. Or you might remember their “Evolution” video where a woman sits down and is bombarded by people applying make up and hair… and then Photoshop… to attempt to measure up to the world’s definition of beauty. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has had enough of the world’s unattainable definition of beauty.

Dove just released another video, this time about the selfie, the pictures young people love to take, holding their phone’s camera with an outstretched arm, pointed back at themselves. Dove understands the battle many young girls endure each time they snap one of these pics to share.

“I worry a lot about my positioning in the picture because I do have a really round face…”

“I hate my rosey cheeks because people I always say I look like a tomato.”

“I hate my braces and I hate my glasses… I wanna say I hate my whole face.”

“Sometimes in the mirror I will cover one of my arms, like, part of it, to make it look more narrow…”

The video gives us a peek into the lives of Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where a professional photographer addresses all the girls in a school assembly. Take a peek at this insightful video:

This short film brings so many issues to light. One of the glaring issues was how powerful the insecurities of mom can be, and how that is passed down (something we just addressed in our recent Youth Culture Window article written specifically to moms, Four Practices That Build a Girl’s Self Image.)

It was interesting to hear the laughter when the photographer in this film proposed, “What if you worked with your moms who will also be learning how to take selfies?”

I think that was one of my favorite moments in the film—moms and daughters interacting together about “selfies” and talking openly about insecurities.

But the most poignant moment for me was when the little girl with glasses shared what people had said about her looks.

“I look like a 12-year-old. I look like a boy.”

And in a moment of sincerity, she asks, “Why would people say that. It just really hurts.”

These are the kinds of conversations we need to have with our girls. Are you talking with your girls about real issues?


5 Replies to “Selfie”

  1. Dove does a great job with these videos in terms of opening our eyes to insecurities we all have in life. Thanks for sharing these with us…now back to shoveling the snow out of the driveway.

  2. I agree, Dove does a great job … I just have such a hard time hearing the message they communicate when Unilever, the company that owns Dove and Axe, can use such polarizing marketing schemes. I can’t help but think the “real beauty” idea is strictly a ploy to sell, in the same way that over-sexualized women is their ploy to sell to Jr. High boys! Sneaky but effective, Unilever has managed to use Dove for targeting the issue of low self esteem among girls which they simultaneously work so hard to create in the way they present body image through their Axe advertising.

  3. Oh My Gosh this is such a great article (and video and discussion)!! Thanks Jon for giving us more great stuff to chew on and to use to influence the lives of our students! LOVE IT!!!

  4. Love this, thank you!

    Any resources that you have come across…movie clips, songs, youtube videos addressing these similar issues, but how they are influencing young men?

    1. Thanks Megan… most of the self image research like this is pretty female specific, because that’s who it affects the most. That’s not to say that young men don’t have self esteem issues. They can, but it usually isn’t from looking through seeing pictures of good looking men and getting jealous. It’s like the subject of porn- very often they talk about the effect on young men, because it effects them more, they are more visual. Again, not to say porn doesn’t affect females. It does- but boys waaaaaaaaay more. But if you click on my side bar where it shows the breakdown of my blog topics, and choose YOUTH CULTURE, then you’ll find plenty of articles about how many items in youth culture affect both genders. I hope that’s a small help!

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