This Ad Is Going Viral For Its Important Message on Body Image

Dove released a 3-minute PSA examining the devastating impact social media can have on children as they develop their body image.

Written by Rowan Lynam

In a stunning 3-minute PSA for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, Dove examines the cost of toxic beauty standards on the mental health of developing minds. The video emphasizes the cascading and long-term consequences children exposed to certain content can form, including developing life-threatening eating disorders.

Dove’s Cost of Beauty demonstrates how social media can impact young children.

Mary’s Story

In the ad, we follow Mary, the central focus of the piece, from early childhood to her young teens. We see her go from the uninterrupted joy of her young life to something hyper-fixated and solemn. It begins when she receives her first smartphone, which the PSA draws attention to.

From there, Mary is sucked into the endless stream of beauty and body content online. Not far from her 13th birthday, she is shown writing in a journal covered in rainbow stickers and “keep out” stickers, outlining her weight-loss goals and her plan to go on WeightWatchers for Adolescents. She plans a detailed workout routine and develops a fixation on her eating habits. We see her standing in front of the mirror, examining her still-developing body from the side to see how thin she is. Then, we see a self-recorded video of her weighing herself and then turning the camera back to see her painfully childish face.

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