Beauty is being redefined by social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, according to a new study conducted by Dove.
Dove is a personal care brand owned by Unilever, best known for their moisturizing body bars.
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was conceived in 2004 after market research indicated that only two percent of women considered themselves beautiful. The mission of the campaign: to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety.
Dove wanted women to appreciate themselves, would-be flaws and all. To adore their freckled, dimples, and scars, along with their real feminine shape regardless of size. We’ve seen examples of this campaign’s mission through Dove’s print and commercial advertisements using real women in lieu of professional models.
Flash forward ten years and nine out of 10 women surveyed say they can finally celebrate their unique characteristics. Additionally, many believe that society has made great strides in being more accepting of different types of women, particularly of women of color (86 percent), appearances (72 percent), and ages (71 percent).
Still, per the company’s findings, more than 55 percent of women believe social media is playing a larger role in influencing the beauty conversation than traditional media.
Airbrushed print ads and commercials have held significant sway over how society and individuals gauge pulchritude. To quote Amy Farrah Fowler’s character (portrayed by Mayim Bialik) in one of my favorite episodes of The Big Bang Theory, “I’m a lady, and with that comes an estrogen-fueled need to page through thick, glossy magazines that make me hate my body.”
Comedy aside, what really drives women (especially) to dwell on what we think is our worst physical feature(s)?
We are often exposed to unrealistic ideals of what society says we should look like as women. According to Beauty Redefined, studies show the women in media these days are thinner than ever, often severely underweight. Many of whom come out years later exposing their battles with eating disorders and depression.
Furthermore, digital enhancement and surgical augmentation has become less taboo.
Self-esteem is negatively impacted when girls grow up believing their worth comes from how we look versus what we think – that beauty comes in one unattainable form. When we only see a certain type of woman presented positively in media, it’s no wonder media is consistently linked to body hatred, disordered eating, and an unhealthy preoccupation on appearance.
Now it seems women are redefining what it means to be beautiful based on what is generating off social media too. Dove’s most recent market research reveals about 82 percent of women believes social media is one of the most influential factors in how beauty is defined today.
In response to ever changing beauty, for their campaign’s 10th anniversary Dove partnered with Sundance Institute and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Wade. Together they produced an 8-minute documentary short called Selfie.
Selfie redefines beauty for all generations – exploring how it has evolved. The film follows a group of teen girls and their mothers. As part of a social media challenge, participants are asked to take photos of themselves, specifically ones highlighting their perceived physical flaws.
In an experiment reminiscent of Dove’s viral beauty sketches ad, the participants learn some of their disliked attributes are what others consider to be the most beautiful, reports Mashable.
[Image: Dove Facebook]