When it comes to social media, we’ve likely all felt the pressure to make ourselves look a certain way – adding filters to our photos or even editing them to change our appearance.
With Instagram stars sharing snaps of their glamorous lives and surgically-enhanced bodies, the desire to cover up our own blemishes and smooth ourselves over is always there.
But it turns out it’s not just adults feeling this way.
A new campaign by Dove has highlighted how children as young as 13 are distorting the way they look online.
The company has thus released an advert called Reverse Selfie, which goes backwards from the moment a young girl posts a picture of herself online, showing all the changes she made to the image before uploading it.
In the clip, she can be seen altering the shape of her face, eyes and lips, thickening her hair and making it look like a different style.
The girl smooths out her skin, hiding spots and also edits out items from her room – like family pictures and her teddy bear.
Before taking the picture she applies heavy make-up, with eyeliner, lip gloss and foundation.
At the end of the advert you see the girl sitting on her bed, staring in the mirror at her natural face, looking sad about what she sees.
Dove captioned the video writing: “The pressure of social media is hurting our girls’ self-esteem.
“More screen time during the pandemic has made things worse.”
On YouTube, underneath the advert, they added: “By age 13, 80% of girls distort the way they look online.*
“Let’s change that. Social media is a big part of young people’s lives – but retouching apps and the pressure to post the ‘perfect selfie’ are hurting their self-esteem and confidence.
“Have the selfie talk with a girl you love to reverse the damage and celebrate real beauty. The Dove Self-Esteem Project can show you how.”
The ad has been watched more than 200,000 times and many people have praised it, calling it “powerful” and “beautiful”.
One person commented: “This commercial is beautiful. Thank you for putting it out there for us teenagers. With social media, it’s hard to remember that things online are not reality.”
Another wrote: “I have huge respect for Dove doing this! This needs talking about, parents need to realise the dangers of smartphones and social media. We all do.”
A third said: “As a mother to an adolescent 12-year-old daughter this made me feel teary when I saw her beautiful fresh young face at the end.”
Someone else replied: “This is brilliant Dove. I’m.not sure who your PR or media agency are, but you need to get some budget behind this and share it with millions, not thousands. Very powerful piece.”