So there have been quite a few Dove videos making the rounds on the internet lately, but the one released yesterday is probably my favorite. Dove has, for a while now, been a proponent of "real" women - AKA not the stereotypical female form that we are constantly bombarded with via media. Their new campaign #Beautyis has been making a pretty powerful impact.
This particular video, titled "Selfie" (and created in partnership with the Sundance Institute), presents a group of high school girls (real girls, real footage) who are encouraged to create and embrace new ideas of beauty - through the selfie. I could go on and on about the video, but you should probably watch it first:
Pretty amazing right? "The selfie" hadn't erupted onto the scene yet when I was in high school (back in the olden days of the early 2000s), but I remember facing pressures similar to the one's these young women face, and feeling like I didn't live up to the "ideal" image of beauty. We hear several of the girls in this video discuss the things that they try to hide when taking a selfie: bigger arms, fluffy hair, not smiling because of braces, etc. Even though I wasn't snapping selfless with an iPhone, anytime anyone took a photo of me I would smile with my mouth closed. I've had a lot of dental work done over the years, and it took a very long time for me accept that my smile is, in fact, beautiful. Likewise, I always wore a pushup bra (until, like, six months ago when I finally fell in love with my A cups). I had countless insecurities as a teenage girl, and if selfies had been all the rage during my high school years, I can only imagine what lengths I would have gone to to present myself the way society seemed to demand. Hell, to this day I tend to only take selfies in flattering light, with my makeup on, and definitely not when my skin is acting weird.
But this is where Dove's campaign - and this video - come in. Instead of viewing the things that make them different as "flaws," the girls are encouraged to put an emphasis on their insecurities when taking a selfie. The results are inspiring and touching. One girl puts it perfectly when she says, "The things that made them (the young women) different made them unique, and that's what made them beautiful." Amen sister! I don't know when society stopped viewing our unique differences (both physically and otherwise) as beautiful, and decided that airbrushed tans, perfectly coifed hair, and a whole lot of other generic bullshit equalled beauty. What makes you unique is WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL. Bigger arms? Beautiful. Giant, puffy lion's mane hair? Beautiful. Little, perky boobs. Beautiful. You? BEAUTIFUL.
Of course, your looks aren't what truly make you beautiful - your personality, your laugh, your determination, your sense of humor, etc. are what true beauty is made of. And I know people have taken issue with Dove's commercials for focusing primarily on the physical aspect of things, and I agree that more time could be spent extolling girls' intelligence, their interests, and more. But the cool thing about this video is that it's these girls' personalities that shine through when they talk about what makes them different and as they begin to overcome stereotypes and insecurities. There's obviously a lot more to beauty than appearances, but I'm so thankful that Dove is doing something to combat the ridiculous and damaging ideas about female beauty.
So go ahead, take a selfie and embrace what makes you you. Let's redefine beauty because, honey, you are beautiful inside and out.