photo credit: Dove
Companies, organizations and entrepreneurs have launched campaigns all aiming to promote community, confidence, and power among women. Dove adds to this notion with their newest short film #MyBeautyMySay.
As seen above, the video features stories of women who have stood up and defined their own idea of beauty. The camera follows each person as they confront the criticism they’ve faced on their appearance and the call to end the judgement today.
“Too pretty to fight,” “too big,” “only skinny girls can dress well, ” – as each woman called out the cruelties they’ve received, only to replace them with the amazing accomplishments and fearlessness they’ve achieved. The series of one on one videos provides audiences with further inspiration, understanding, and advice on how to combat judgment and revel in beauty on their own terms.
One of the biggest ties we hold as women is that at each point, someone else has assertively, without our permission defined our beauty and sexuality for us. “Somewhere along the way, it has become the norm to judge women based on their appearance. Dove created #MyBeautyMySay because we believe a woman’s beauty should not be used to belittle her achievements — instead, her beauty should be celebrated on her terms,” Jennifer Bremner, Dove’s marketing director, said in a statement.
Only now are women beginning to delve deeper into the conversation of who gets “the say.” This June Author and Columnist Jessica Valenti released her first memoir, Sex Object. In it Valenti walks readers through the various levels of what it means to be objectified. Instead of writing about the more general challenges faced by feminism, Valenti uncovers the more personally damaging side to sexism and objectification.
“I’ve talked to researchers who are really interested in something called Objectification Theory,” she shares. “They’ve shown that the way women are objectified has a tangible impact on our mental health. It increases anxiety, it increases depression — and we know that women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder, more likely to be depressed.”
Women are rising in the realm of storytelling, and we could not be more happy. “The more we can tell our stories, the better off it is,” says Jessica Valenti. “We’re seeing it with memoirs, with the #YesAllWomen hashtag and with personal writing online. These stories are important and need to be heard.”
This past spring, actress Kate Winslet served up a fiery, acceptance speech at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards sharing her own story and advocating, “To any young woman who has been put down, by a teacher or friend or even a parent, just don’t listen to any of it, because that’s what I did. I kept believing in myself.”
Others like Body Image Activist and Founder Taryn Brumfitt have also led the movement, creating her own crowdfunded documentary film, “Embrace.” In the film Brumfitt shares her journey traveling the world in 2015, meeting women searching to answer the question: Why do so many women hate their bodies?
“I truly believe that the more stories of women we hear,” says Brumfitt, “the more we’re inspired by people who’ve faced adversity and pushed through, the more we can empower women into becoming their authentic selves.”