Dove Video Protects Girls’ Self Esteem

Posted on September 8, 2010

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A few years ago, Dove created a short video that demonstrates how cosmetics and photo retouching are used to create the unrealistic and unattainable images of female beauty that are used for billboard advertisements, and of course in magazines. (Haven’t seen the video? Watch it below!) Researchers have found that viewing this video helps protect young girls from the negative effects on the self-esteem that comes from seeing unrealistic ideals of beauty in magazines.

…Now a team of researchers at the University of the West of England, led by Emma Halliwell, have tested whether viewing this short video can buffer young girls against the negative effects of looking at images of ultra-thin female models. Past research found such a benefit when adult women viewed a similar video but this is the first time the idea has been investigated with young girls…

Consistent with past research, girls who looked at thin models subsequently reported lower body satisfaction and confidence compared with girls who looked at pictures of landscapes (in turn, prior research has linked lower body self-esteem with increased risk of developing an eating disorder). The key finding was that this negative effect was not seen among the girls who watched the Dove video first, before looking at the ultra-thin models. The body self-esteem and confidence of these girls was just the same as among girls who watched the video and then looked at pictures of landscapes…

Read the original article posted on the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog on Friday, August 20, 2010 here.

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