Dove asks women to redefine beauty with help of 'selfies' in new film
The cosmetics company is debuting a short film at the Sundance Film Festival that asks women to embrace the social media trend and redefine the concept of beauty. (AP / Wilfredo Lee)
Rubab Abid, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, January 20, 2014 2:19PM EST
It’s been dubbed "Word of the Year" by Oxford Dictionary. Celebrities do it, athletes do it and even U.S. President Barack Obama has taken part in the online craze.
But as the infamous “selfie” continues to saturate Instagram feeds and Twitter accounts around the world, Dove is looking to harness the power of the self-portrait for some good.
The cosmetics company is debuting a short film at the Sundance Film Festival that asks women to embrace the social media trend and redefine the concept of beauty.
The film “Selfie” debuts on Monday and follows a group of teenage girls and their mothers as they tackle personal struggles with body image and self-esteem.
The seven-minute film, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Wade, asks the teenagers to take self-portraits on their phones and capture aspects of their bodies that they feel insecure about.
One teen, who says she feels uncomfortable with her big curly hair, takes a shot with her hair out.
Another girl, who says she often positions her body so that her arms look “more narrow” in pictures, is shown taking a selfie in a grey sleeveless top.
The teenagers are asked to include their mothers in the experience and teach them how to take a selfie as well.
The film looks to highlight the ways in which mothers influence how teenage girls view their bodies.
“I’m still not 100 per cent accepting of my body, it’s still an issue for me,” says one mother in the film.
“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,” a teenager said.
The “selfies” taken by the women are showcased at a public gallery where people can post notes about what they find beautiful in each woman.
In a growing digital age, the film looks to challenge young women to redefine “selfie culture” in a unique way.
“The way women are defining beauty today is changing dramatically, and social media has much to do with the change,” Wade said.
“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.”
The film is part of Dove’s new social media campaign #BeautyIs, which looks to initiate an online discussion around beauty standards and self-esteem among women.
The cosmetics company has gained online popularity in recent years after releasing several online ads as part of its “Campaign for Real Beauty.”
Dove has also initiated a mentorship program with the Sundance Institute that looks to mentor young women hoping to build a career in filmmaking.