Dove Tries to Turn the Selfie on Its Head

Beauty is in the eye of the smartphone holder

Could the selfie redefine what we consider beautiful? It’s a daunting task for 2013’s word of the year, but Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade (Mondays at Racine, Freeheld) thinks the sometimes-superficial Internet trend is up to the challenge.

“Selfie,” Wade’s documentary short about unattainable beauty standards in the social media age, premiered this week at Sundance in partnership with Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. We’ve long been fans of the skin care brand’s awareness project (last year’s Real Beauty Sketches had our whole office in tears), and the film hits hard on both the insecurities that manifest in high school and the often onerous dynamics of mothers, daughters, and self-esteem.

Peppered with conversations about aging, bullying, and presenting a false self on social media, the movie makes you want to hug your mom and rethink your obsession with Instagram filters — all in less than ten minutes’ time.