Dove––a brand that for years has attempted to widen the definition of beauty through various ad campaigns––now has its sights set on detoxifying harmful beauty standards found consistently in young girls’ social media feeds.
#DetoxYourFeed wants teens to understand toxic beauty advice and define their own beauty standards by inviting them to unfollow any influencers and content that don’t make them feel good about themselves.
#DetoxYourFeed is supported and inspired by a new study from the Dove Self-Esteem Project which found that one in two girls said idealized beauty advice on social media causes low self-esteem.
The study also concluded that two in three girls in the U.S. are spending more than an hour each day on social media, more time than they spend in person with friends. More selective scrolling for less overall time is part of the solution, with seven out of 10 girls having felt better after unfollowing idealized beauty content, says Dove.
According to Leandro Barreto, global vice president of Dove, toxic beauty advice on social media platforms is a clear issue eroding the self-esteem of teen girls. To ensure a safer online experience, the awareness of both teens and parents is essential.
“We created this #DetoxYourFeed campaign to not only raise awareness around the insidious nature of toxic beauty advice, but to also help parents navigate tough conversations and empower teens to unfollow content that makes them feel bad about themselves,” adds Barreto. “While it may be a bit overwhelming at times, we hope it will contribute to important conversations that lead to a more positive experience for teens on social media.”
“Toxic Influence,” Dove’s new campaign film, embraces this idea by showing mothers and daughters watching toxic advice found on social feeds being recited not by an influencer, but by the mothers themselves.
The film explores how dangerous topics like “fitspo,” “thinspo” and the promotion of elective cosmetic procedures has become normalized by young girls, until read by mothers who would otherwise never think to support such harmful advice.
The Dove Self-Esteem Project found that 80% of girls would like their parents to talk to them about how to manage idealized beauty posts, and has thus created academically validated resources and tools, like an additional short film and a workbook, to help parents navigate those conversations.
On May 12th, Dove will also be hosting a free virtual live-stream event and Q&A called “The Dove Real Talk Parent Workshop” featuring cultural expert Jess Weiner and psychotherapist Nadia Addesi.
“While it might feel harmless, given half of girls say social media causes low self-esteem, ongoing exposure has the potential to have a negative and lasting impact,” says Addesi.