Recommended Media’s ‘Selfie’ for Dove Leaves Us a Bit Verklempt

By Erik Oster 

I try not to throw around the word “powerful” too frequently, but “Selfie,” the new documentary short crafted by Recommended Media and director Cynthia Wade for the tenth anniversary of Dove’s “Real Beauty” is just that.

Cynthia Wade realizes that social media and other modern technologies are creating a paradigm shift in how people perceive beauty, and that the generation growing up today has a great opportunity to affect positive change in this regard. “Our culture is in a new place in terms of how we talk about women and beauty, and social media is fueling the shift,” she said. “When I was growing up, there was one definition of beauty and it could only be found in traditional media. Today beauty is in the hands of the people as they photograph and share a splendidly diverse range of the female self image over social networks.”

So Wade and her crew headed to a high school to get girls, many of whom (like most high school students) were self-conscious about the way they looked. She enlisted them in a project where each girl would take a selfie, along with her mother, that would later be shown at a photography exhibit. The just over 7 minute long video tackles not just the girls’ insecurities, but also their mothers’ and the way that insecurities about the way we look can be past down from one generation to the next. It’s a really touching portrait of the way a younger generation is being given the opportunity to redefine what “beauty” is, taking it from a place of exclusivity and judgement to a place of inclusion and acceptance. Watching the girls react to the positive comments people left on their photos and accept themselves as beautiful is really quite touching and I’ve got to admit it left me all teared up. Interestingly, the video does nothing to tie itself to the Dove brand until the very end, when Dove invites viewers to join the conversation with the #beautyis hashtag. Cynthia Wade’s “Selfie” is a pleasant surprise, working to redefine both beauty and brand interaction. Well done. Partial credits after the jump.Credits:

Client: Dove
Director: Cynthia Wade

Producer: Sharon Liese
Production Company: Recommended Media