Picture Imperfect: Reclaiming Our Beauty with the Dove Selfies Campaign

January 28, 2014  |  

As a young girl, it was so easy for me to look in the mirror and pick myself apart. How could I not? I was bombarded with images of women who were supposedly the epitome of beauty and they looked so different than me. None of them had my flat nose, chinky eyes or coiled hair. If I believed the hype, they were considered perfect and ideal. But as I got older, I began to wonder, by whose standards and at what cost?

Now that I am raising daughters, I see that not much has not changed and I feel compelled to do something about it. For years, the mainstream media has tried to push these false, Photoshopped images on us. We’ve been encouraged to buy products, wear clothes or go on unhealthy fad diets in hopes of reaching this idealized notion of beauty that the prototypes themselves cannot even live up to.  It’s not fair, but social media presents a unique opportunity for moms and daughters to change the game and Dove is leading the way with its new Selfies campaign.  The campaign, in the form of a short film, is designed to help moms and daughters push back on some of those monolithic notions of beauty and promote the faces of real girls and real women as beautiful, unique and deserving of recognition. It’s an opportunity to celebrate imperfections and reclaim our beauty.

While we may see some pretty ratchet selfies on social media, if done correctly, they can also be used as tool to empower girls and women to recognize their own reflection as a standard of beauty to be celebrated. Dove is showing us how to make that happen and I’m on board.

After viewing Dove’s short film, I felt so inspired that  I decided to do a similar exercise with my daughter. While, I have long since abandoned the false notion of perfection shown in magazines and television, I don’t ever want to assume that those images are not having a negative impact on my child. I want us to talk freely and openly so that we can challenge those falsehoods, which is why I chose to use this as an opportunity for us to see ourselves as we are, versus what we may tend pick apart in the mirror from time to time.

For the record, my daughter, is not a frequent selfie taker. She doesn’t feel they ever come out right. The film offers a little advice on how to take a good selfie–and it worked. I can’t tell you how good it felt to see her beam at how cute she looked in her photos.

People have always said my that daughter and I look so much alike, but it wasn’t until this selfie exercise that I realized just how much. When I look at her she is beautiful to me, but once we took the selfies that I saw that very same beauty staring back at me in my own image. In recognizing her beauty, I was able to recognize my own and vice versa.

Just like the moms and daughters in the video, this selfie exercise helped to bring our appreciation of our unique beauty full circle.

My daughter and I learned that although though we may not be pinched, cinched, countoured and tucked like some of those images in the media, we are indeed glorious in our own right and we have the selfies to prove it.

How do you promote a positive self-image in your daughter? Are you willing to take the selfie challenge?


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