TODAY

TODAY   |  January 22, 2014

‘Selfie’ documentary inspires positive body image

A film called “Selfie” is getting a ton of attention after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. For the tenth anniversary of its “Campaign for Real Beauty,” Dove partnered with filmmaker Cynthia Wade and the Sundance Institute, and challenged teen girls and moms to see beauty in a different light.

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>>> meantime, another thing trending, a documentary short film called "selfies" getting a lot of attention for the tenth anniversary for the campaign for real beauty , dove partnered with the sundance institute and challenged a group of teenage girls and their moms to see beauty in a different light.

>> for young women today, the pressure to be perfect is everywhere.

>> i think that a lot of girls compare themselves to what they see on tv and to what they see in magazines and to fit in, you have to fit this mold.

>> while social media can be part of the problem, photographer michael crook set out to make it part of the solution.

>> she asked this group of teenagers and their mothers to use their smartphone to take selfies and capture their own natural beauty .

>> often times mothers pass on their insecurities to their children.

>> i want my mom to know she's beautiful. and she doesn't have to change for anyone.

>> she challenged them to embrace their insecurities.

>> i hate my braces. i hate my glasses. i don't know, i want to say i hate my whole face.

>> shifting the conversation.

>> sometimes in the mirror, i cover one of my arms, part of it to look more narrow or something.

>> i would never guess you did that in a mirror.

>> yeah.

>> all to create a more inclusive definition of beauty .

>> beauty is being strong and being brave and being happy with yourself.

>> i don't look like the people in the magazines, i'm not blond or super tall or super skinny, but that doesn't mean i'm not beautiful.

>> i was looking through my selfies last night and i realized i am beautiful. i'm pretty cute.

>> yes, she is. and "selfies" director cynthia wade is with us, pat tucker and her daughter chancia. good morning to all of you lovely ladies.

>> good morning.

>> this is an interesting concept, using the selfie to expand the definition of beauty .

>> well, i'm always looking for those off moments, moments before the picture is taken. and the selfie on the surface seems really simple. but when you think about how many selfies people take and delete or filter or somehow change before they put it out there, i really wanted to explore the honest selfie.

>> and you've asked people to embrace their flaws in their selfies. was this an intimidating thing to take on?

>> yeah.

>> scary?

>> yeah.

>> what about you, harper ?

>> i mean, it was intimidating, but i think part of the magic of like documentary film , they didn't come in and they were like we're going to make you a star. just come and be yourself and let's start this conversation and i think it would just -- it had a huge impact on me on how i think about myself, how i think about the world.

>> what i think is so interesting about this project is the mother/daughter aspect of it. and dove has a survey, 2014 survey found that 22% of daughters learn about beauty from their mothers. and i thought, boy, all right, moms, if these daughters of yours are watching you and how you relate to yourself and your own beauty , what do you think they would have learned?

>> what i don't like about myself. and intend to share that on a daily basis.

>> and you're honest about that surprised you how much harper picked that up.

>> i -- doing this was such an eye opener for me. i always thought that i didn't pass any of those insecurities on to harper . in fact, i didn't even know she knew about them until cynthia started asking her and she started rattling off all the things i only thought i knew about myself. and it made me think, you know, moms, you really are passing things on whether you know it or not.

>> yeah. it's an interesting question. i'm sure you don't want to hear your mom be down on herself. but did it affect how you see yourself and the criticism you make of yourself?

>> yeah. i think it was really -- it's really difficult for me to see my mom feel uncomfortable about herself, because i think she's just like, you know, my biggest role model and the most beautiful person i know. it's a compliment when people tell me i look like her and her to criticize herself is sort of like indirectly criticizing me because i came from her. and, yeah, so --

>> fascinating insight, actually. and you and your mom talked about in the documentary how your mom pat was saying, why don't you wear a little make-up and you really resisted that. how did they make you feel when she made those kind of suggestions?

>> it made me feel small. because i wanted to feel confident without make-up and she was telling me, why don't you wear a little bit? and i didn't want to wear a little bit. and it was hard for me to hear her say that.

>> and i know, pat, you said you learned a lot about this from being part of this. i only got about ten seconds left. tell me what's your big message, one-liner?

>> well, i think we have the power in our own hands to really redefine beauty . it's in our own hands.

>> and our smartphones, right? thank you so much. and we