We all do it, let’s be honest. We all have criticisms about our appearance and have voiced those out loud, and maybe even on social media. Perhaps you are one of those many people who tweeted some self-loathing comments during the annual Victoria’s Secret show that seems to multiply body image woes since they only allow a certain body type to part of their crew.
Aside from social media being a haven for anonymous cyber bullies and trolls who seem to target mostly women, it is also a place for men and women to air their woes about body image and being that twitter is a platform that creates and highlights trends, it then turns into a place of body shame for some.
There is so much power in words and if we allow ourselves to speak negativity and see negativity all day long, how on earth do we think we are going to implement anything positive? It has to be intentional, but we also have to be aware of the people and areas we surround ourselves with. Given that social media isn’t always the bastion of positivity, one platform is trying to change that.
Twitter, who have really been ramping up their focus to crack down on cyber-trolling, have teamed up with the ultimate name in brand positivity: Dove. The #SpeakBeautiful campaign is aimed at getting twitter users to say positive things on the platform about themselves and others, the hope that it will catch on.
Dove research reveals that 8 out of 10 women encounter negative comments on social media that critique women’s looks.
“When it comes to speaking positively to other women on social media, and about yourself, Dove wants everyone to understand that the power is in our hands. Together, with Twitter, Dove will unveil new advertising during Hollywood’s biggest red carpet event of the year to inspire social media change,” said a statement about the campaign initially revealed on February 19, and they’re talking about the Oscars which took place on Feb 22nd.
Just like the Victoria’s Secret shows, major televised red carpet events like the Academy Awards also place an undue burden on women when it comes to body image because of the intense focus of what the stars are wearing.
This year Dove will be on the lookout for negative talk during the broadcast and will respond with positive suggestions instead. It is yet another reason why the Ask Her More campaign started by women’s organizations who were fed up of female celebs being asked only superficial questions on the red carpet was launched in 2014 and plays a much bigger role than just steering the conversation away from designer outfits.
The video below revealed that over five million negative body image tweets were posted in 2014, yet only 9% of women admit to posting negative comments on social media.
“Dove has long been committed to instilling self-esteem in the next generation, and we know that women today are 50% more likely to say something negative about themselves, than positive, on social media,” said Jennifer Bremner, Director of Marketing, Dove.
“Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post. The power to #SpeakBeautiful is in the hands of us all–we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online.”
“Dove has been a leader in supporting women’s self-esteem and body confidence, and Twitter is the natural place for that conversation to unfold, especially on the night of a major awards show,” said Adam Bain, President of Revenue at Twitter. “We look forward to seeing how women and communities on Twitter connect and #SpeakBeautiful, both on Hollywood’s biggest night and well beyond.”
Social media scholar and Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Danah Boyd, was commissioned by Dove to conduct the study which became the basis for this campaign, and she found 82% of women surveyed feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic, and 4 out of every 5 negative tweets Twitter identified about beauty and body image are women talking about themselves.
“Social media is playing a critical role in showing and shaping how women and girls feel about themselves,” she said. “Yet, women do not realize how online dialogue can contribute to negative mindsets and behavior towards beauty both on and offline. We women have an incredible opportunity to be more thoughtful about how we speak about ourselves and others on social media.”
Huffpost Women reports that this campaign was launched not long after Twitter CEO Dick Costolo publicly acknowledged how his social media platform in particular has been notorious for online attacks.
“We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day,” he said. In his subsequent vow to do better, it seems the #speakbeautiful campaign is just the first in a series of steps.
Here is the video below and we hope it has an impact on the things you choose to share on social media going forward: