Short Film ‘Selfie’ Shows How Moms Influence Daughter’s Body Image

Can a selfie change your self-esteem?

A short documentary called Selfie is getting quite the buzz after premiering Monday at the Sundance Film Festival. For the tenth anniversary of its “Campaign for Real Beauty,” Dove partnered with filmmaker Cynthia Wade and the Sundance Institute to challenge teen girls and their moms to see beauty in a different light.

Highlighting how mothers pass down their insecurities to their daughters, a Dove survey says 72 percent of girls admit they learn about beauty from their mothers.

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The filmmakers asked the participants — girls attending a high school in Great Barrington, Mass. — to take selfies. Led by professional photographer Michael Crook, she says we often only see our flaws in these smartphone images.

Additionally, their moms were asked to take the selfie challenge — and the girls were shocked to discover their moms’ insecurities in the process.

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“I hate my whole face,” one girl says before taking the selfie challenge. “I’m scared of putting myself out there,” she adds.

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Other girls talk about hating their hair, face shape, skin tone, body size and everything in between.

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Meanwhile, many of the moms complained about their wrinkles and the aging process.

“We have the power in our own hands to redefine beauty,” Crook urges the students, adding, “Your mom can redefine beauty just like you can.”

After capturing the selfies, the moms and daughters were treated to a photography exhibit, showcasing their beautiful images. The filmmakers asked the participants to write quick compliments for their peers.

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“Great hair,” and “Love your smile,” and “You are beautiful,” are just some of the positive messages written on post-it notes, plastered all over the breathtaking selfies.

“I was surprised at the pictures at the exhibit,” one girl admits. “The things that make us different, make us beautiful.”

Another girl adds: “I realized I’m pretty cute.”

And the lesson was not lost on most of the moms. “Doing this was such an eye opener for me because I always thought that I didn’t pass any of those insecurities on to my daughter,” one mom shares. “In fact, I didn’t even know she knew about them.”

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“Social media is widening the definition of beauty,” says one mom on how selfies can be a positive experience after all.

I love this new campaign!

As a mother-of-three, I know the importance of positive role modeling. Now that I’m approaching the big 4-0, I’m definitely noticing that my looks are changing — smaller than ever boobs after breastfeeding three children, sunken look in my face, wrinkles, etc.

But I’ll be damned if I let this BS take up space in my head! I have a young daughter – and not to mention two sons who are watching my every move – and my body image and self-esteem impact their daily lives.

Have I been sculpted with society’s perception of perfection. No I have not. But, I know three lil’ ones who think I’m pretty close to perfect.

Here’s my own selfie, showcasing my ‘worst’ physical features, and not highlighting my ‘best.’ What do you think? I’d say my beautiful boy and I nailed it!

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MORE: An Open Letter To My 20-Year-Old Self

Check out the Selfie video below…

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