Can a selfie define one’s sense of beauty? A film produced by beauty product maker Dove, asks exactly that question.  “Selfie” made it’s debut Monday at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

“Selfie” follows a group of teenage girls from Massachusetts and their mothers who were asked to take selfies of the features of themselves they disliked the most.  The mother-daughter duos then attend an event where their self-portraits are blown up and posted in a “#BeautyIs selfie photo gallery.”

The goal of the seven-minute film, according to Dove, is for the women to redefine their own beauty and see that insecurity often lies beneath the personal snapshots.

“The thing that I hide when I take my pictures is how big my hair looks,” one teenage girl says in the film.

“I want my mom to know she’s beautiful and that she doesn’t have to change for anyone,” says another.

“Selfie” marks the 10th anniversary of Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” which included last year’s viral ad in which an FBI-trained forensic sketch artist drew a woman as she described herself, and then drew her as a total stranger described her, resulting in dramatic differences.

Dove says its own research found that 62 percent of women feel they are responsible for influencing their own definition of beauty and that 55 percent of women believe social media plays a larger role in influencing the beauty conversation than traditional media.

Maybe Dove will start another campaign in India, to get rid of their parent company’s skin lightening products, so women in that country can learn to love the skin they’re in too.

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  • Pseudonym

    That was depressing.

    How about women stop allowing themselves to be defined by their physical beauty (or lack thereof)? How about we start the movement to define women by things that make them happy and doesn’t tend to depreciate with age? Be defined by life-changing experiences, adventurous travels, successful educational and professional pursuits, bad-ass risk-taking, admirable character, etc. Not only does that switch focus to things that truly make women happy, but (since the obsession with looks roots in desire to attract romantic mates) it will also make them better partners and attract better partners b/c that which sparked the romantic interest in the first place is something integral to the person’s personality and character and can’t simply be wiped off with an Olay moisture towelette. (And even then, it shouldn’t be about trying to compete for romantic attention in the first place, but just being realistic about the motive.)

    I forever enjoy living out world travels, learning random facts and challenging insights, eating great food, and having professional successes and can’t think of a time where instead of sharing a story about one of those experiences, I told a story about how great I looked in a particular hairstyle with a certain outfit one day. and if I told a story about looking good, no one would even find it interesting- not even me.

    Let’s encourage more young girls to be interested and interesting instead of focusing so much on physical beauty.

  • Nikki

    I love how Ms.Callahan threw some shade at Unilever. I agree that Dove needs to pratice what it preaches.

  • Buttons

    I personally think that the whole picture taking thing has gone overboard. Everybody is obsessed with taking pictures of themselves (and posting it online)….it’s really not that important and there are more constructive things that people can do with their time than taking “selfies”. When you spend that kind of time constantly photographing yourself you are bound to focus on your every little flaw and imperfection.

    My suggestion—stay away from social media or use it in moderation. It has become a major distraction in people’s lives.