Let’s Drop the Negativity and #SpeakBeautiful

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Film industry awards, ‘The Oscars’, is about to kick off on Sunday 22nd February. You would think that Award Ceremonies by their very nature would generate a flurry of positivity, a celebration of achievement and an appreciation of talent. But according to Twitter, award season has become the time of year that the most negative tweets are sent – by women in particular.

Twitter says that an alarming 5 million negative tweets about body image and beauty (their own or someone else’s) were sent out last year by women alone.  Yet, only 9 percent of women actually admit to posting negative comments on social media. It seems that seeing other women strutting their stuff on the red carpet sends many of us off to social media world to air our insecurities and criticise others. I use the term ‘us’ very loosely as I am sure you are not one of the 91% of women who do tweet such negativity and do not admit it…

But Wow! That’s an awful lot of negativity flying around in one short period don’t you think?

It has become such a serious issue that Dove has teamed up with Twitter to run a campaign during this year’s Oscars that aims to counteract negative tweets as they come in with positive ones. The Dove/Twitter campaign is called #SpeakBeautiful, and it begins with a video posted online just a couple of days ago on 19th February that will air during the red-carpet coverage of Sunday’s Oscars (when Twitter is perhaps at its cattiest as the stars parade by in their designer outfits). The ad is based on a theory that “it only takes one positive tweet to start a trend.” Here’s hoping…

In an article in www.adweek.com, Dove explains how this campaign is actually going to work:

“When a negative tweet is posted, the technology will be used by Dove to send non-automated responses to real women, which include constructive and accessible advice to encourage more positive online language and habits.

“Advice will come directly from social media and self-esteem experts who collaborate with Dove and Twitter to empower women to speak with more confidence, optimism and kindness about beauty online.”

The skin and hair care beauty brand have some worrying statistics to support their decision to launch the campaign. It’s understandable when the stats show that:

  • 8 out of 10 women encounter negative comments on social media that critique women’s looks
  • Women are 50 percent more likely to say something negative about themselves than positive on social media
  • 82 percent of women surveyed feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic
  • 4 out of every 5 negative tweets Twitter identified about beauty and body image are women talking about themselves

But when did women become so self-loathing and hateful towards other women? Or have we always been this way but have managed to conceal this ugly-secret-of-a-character-flaw before the permeation of social media? Is there something about seeing seemingly successful, glamorous and beautiful women that brings out the worst in others? Or maybe women watching the award ceremonies at home are reacting to the undeniable pressure from the media to be body perfect.

It’s an extremely worrying thought when one considers that the next generation of young women will be developing their ideals on beauty, self-worth, and acceptance from an increasingly media driven society.

But maybe something can be done now. What if we all got on board with this campaign? What if we denounced the impulse to post a negative comment about a fellow female’s weight, height, hair, nose and any other physical attribute? Let’s instead do our best to celebrate the positives, the talents, the gifts, the imperfections that makes every women beautifully unique. You never know, we may just start a trend that impacts a whole generation and beyond. #SpeakBeautiful

What are your views on the Dove/Twitter campaign? Let us know below.

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