Dove China encourages women to shed filters and tackle unrealistic beauty standards

Based on the insight that the majority of women will edit or retouch images of themselves before posting them online, Dove China is encouraging them to forgo the filters in an effort to tackle damaging and unrealistic beauty standards.

The societal pressure for women to retouch their images in order to appeal to the beauty standard has never been more commonplace, and with more filters available on apps than ever before it’s increasingly easy for everyday people to alter the images of themselves they post online. The issue is particularly prevalent in China, with 78% of women saying they retouch and edit their images.

To encourage more women to post without filters and dismantle unrealistic beauty standards, Dove has released its ‘My Beauty, My Say’ campaign in collaboration with Forsman & Bodenfors Shanghai. The documentary-style video follows a group of Chinese women who share their personal stories about their body image issues.

In the video, the women discuss their anxieties about different aspects of their appearance and reveal how they would alter them in the photographs they share.

When confronted with pictures of their childhood selves, the film takes an emotional turn as the women realize that their younger selves didn’t need or want any photo filters. When asked if they would like to be part of a photoshoot and post entirely unedited pictures of themselves, they’re initially reluctant but eventually agree.

“For over 60 years, Dove has advocated for real beauty, representing beauty as it is in real life. With the advancement in mobile technologies and applications, especially in China and Asia, digital distortion is now happening on a much bigger scale with selfie beautification apps having profoundly changed how we look at ourselves and each other,“ said Alessandro Manfredi, executive vice president at Dove Brand.

“We see so much creativity and expression of self-identity through the use of filters and editing apps, but these apps are used to digitally distort images to conform to narrow beauty standards, with women in particular feeling the pressure to edit and distort themselves to create something ‘ideal’ that cannot be achieved in real life. Dove wants to highlight this issue as part of our ‘No Digital Distortion’ mark, letting everyone know that the women in our ads are just as you’d see them in real life.”

Dove has echoed its sentiments in other campaigns around the world. Last year its ‘Reverse Selfie’ campaign tackled the issue of image-editing on young girls’ self esteem after it was revealed that by the age of 13, 80% of girls in the UK will have edited images of themselves online.

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