Dove's new ad campaign, which encourages mothers and their teenage daughters to redefine the concept of beauty, is entitled 'Selfie' after the new social trend. The seven-minute documentary film debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival earlier this week.
The ad follows a group of teenage girls and their mothers from Massachusetts and asks them to take photos of themselves highlighting the features they dislike the most. The selfies are then blown up and placed in a '#BeautyIs' selfie photo gallery where the public can post notes about what they find beautiful about each woman.
"I want my mom to know she's beautiful and that she doesn't have to change for anyone," says one teenager.
The documentary was based on the assertion that "often, mothers pass on their insecurities to their children." For this reason, the ad campaign attempts to empower women to love their bodies just as they are, instead of seeking approval from others.
"I think my mom's insecurities affect me a lot. When you hear her talk about her insecurities, you start to focus on your own," another teenager said.
In the film, the teens discuss the features they dislike about themselves. One explains that she's uncomfortable with her big hair, so she consciously leaves it out of her photos. Another says that she tries to make her arms look "narrow" by covering them up.
These attempts to disguise our imperfections in order to fit in to the mainstream idea of beauty tell us that selfies are not a "natural" reflection of ourselves. With this in mind, the film sets out to demonstrate that women need to "redefine their own beauty and see that insecurity often lies beneath the personal snapshots."
Tracey Clark, an author and blogger from Babble.com, understands the importance of this message and says she made watching this documentary with her daughters a priority. Clark told ABC News, "I really want my girls to know that in every phase of their lives, they are beautiful for who they are. And it's important for me to internalise that for myself."
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Wade, who directed the short film, told CTV News: "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."
"Selfie" marks the 10th anniversary of Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty." Watch the documentary short film below:
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