If you've turned on a television or read a magazine in the past 10 years, you've no doubt seen ads for the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty, an initiative seeking to widen the definition of beauty. At this year's Sundance Film Festival, the brand released Selfie, a documentary film that raises the power of the user-generated social-media phenomenon to a whole new level. The three-minute video clip above is incredibly powerful and moving, with one certainty: Selfies can be used to change the conversation around the word "beautiful."
The film, directed by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Cynthia Wade, follows multiple generations of women and their mothers in the Massachusetts Berkshire region as they rise to a challenge: an exhibit of their own unfiltered selfies. Insecurities rise, but the outcome is both incredibly moving and thought-provoking as fears are shed in place of acceptance of self and others. Airbrushing, it seems, is no match for the power of women effecting change.
Dove provides facts to back up that thought. In a recent study, nine out of 10 American women have admitted to finally accepting those quirks that make them uniquely beautiful (freckles, scars, tooth gaps, etc.) along with gaining an appreciation for more diversity: 86% believe that our society is more accepting of women of color and 71% believe that a wider range of ages is considered beautiful. But, we're nowhere near finished: Two-thirds surveyed believe there's definitely still more work to be done.
The power of the selfie cannot be denied, and this film and its subjects have raised the power to self-document our own beauty to a whole new level. Real beauty, it seems, is truly in the eye of the beholder. The only filter necessary? Our own self-acceptance.
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