Trigger Warning: this article discusses eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
The latest Dove Self-Esteem Project campaign details the dangers of social media with ‘Cost of Beauty’.
While social media can be a tool for good, it is still a huge proprietor of negative messages that filter through to our most vulnerable users: the youth. Social media is also primarily self-regulated, and due to this a new study from Dove shows that eight in 10 mental health specialists attribute social media to the growing mental health crisis.
What is the cost of beauty through social media?
In the latest campaign, a three minute spot released on YouTube and distributed through various channels shows the long-term effects of young people watching other creators weigh and measure themselves as well as restrict dieting. The video unfolds as the damage becomes more obvious whilst the young girl starts to write down degrading comments about herself in a journal.
In ‘Cost of Beauty’, the stages of an eating disorder are played out, to a version of “You Are So Beautiful”. It finishes with Mary, the protagonist, in an eating disorder clinic, recovering from the illness, before several other real-life survivors of mental health issues are accompanied by their parents on screen.
The emotional short film encourages viewers to go onto Dove’s website and sign the Campaign for Kids Online Safety, that has been set up to try and fix the growing number of young people that say that they are both addicted to social media but also suffer from anxiety as a result of it.
Dove’s long-term commitment to beauty advertising
Dove has long cemented itself as being a positive enforcement in the filtered and fake world that is beauty marketing. This latest iteration is tackling a new subject, but its long-standing 20 year message always remains the same.
“Dove has a long-term commitment to bringing positive change in beauty and taking action towards making social media a more positive place with campaigns like #NoDigitalDistortion, Reverse Selfie/Selfie Talk, and #DetoxYourFeed. While certain aspects of social media can promote creativity and connection for young people, data has shown toxic content online is harming the mental health of today’s youth. If there isn’t real change, young people will continue to pay with their wellbeing.” explains Alessandro Manfredi, chief marketing officer, Dove. “We have a responsibility to act and support a safer environment on social media, helping protect young people’s mental health. This means going beyond individual interventions to drive systemic change.”
Check out ‘Cost of Beauty’ below.