Beauty and the beast: self-esteem

We love a good natter over lunch at Razor HQ. (We chit-chat all the time but it’s even better with food.) Anyway, one of our recent lunchtime discussions steered itself towards social media and growing up in the digital age.

It’s been a hot topic for quite some time and I always end up with a feeling of sadness when thinking about it. While today’s teens have so many opportunities, there’s a flip side that isn’t so happy and rosy; there’s what feels like constant self-marketing, rating self-worth by number of likes, and feeling a need to always conform to the masses. I once read somewhere that 8 out of 10 girls around the world avoid a range of everyday activities because they feel bad about the way they look. 8 out of 10 girls?! How did things get so bad?

A couple of hours after our conversation ended and, as if perfectly timed, a contact shared a Dove advert on my LinkedIn newsfeed and I just love it.

As part of its Self-Esteem Project – designed to help kids with body confidence – Dove created an ad that scratches beneath the surface of what being ‘fine’ really means. It focuses on the complexity of young people’s minds – from being bombarded with impossibly perfect imagery to struggling with self-image and trying to figure out who you really are, all whilst going about your normal day to day. It makes me tired just thinking about it all!

Alongside this ad, they partnered up with Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe using a series of videos to educate kids about body confidence and self-esteem. The short one-minute clips cover topics such as teasing and bullying, comparing looks, media, and celebrities.

We’ve seen brands like ASOS and Misguided challenging the norm and targeting girls before now, but their campaigns tend to focus on the older teen audience. This is one of the first brands I’ve seen actively targeting tweens and younger and talking so openly about the pressures of living in a social media world.

When we carried out our own Razor Kids study ‘The Beauty Project’ with teens and tweens back in the Spring, Dove wasn’t a brand that was cutting through with any of the girls and if anything, was perceived as a bit ‘mumsy’. This move is bound to increase positivity towards the brand for our future shoppers and hopefully encourage more parents/friends/teachers/relatives to take a bit more time to check in and ask what ‘I’m fine’ actually means.

Well done Dove!