This Powerful ‘Reverse Selfie’ Ad Shows How Social Media Hurts Our Teens’ Self-Esteem

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Got a teenage daughter? You’ll want to watch this thought-provoking ad

Did you know that 80% of teenage girls use filters and editing apps to change the way they look online? We knew that social media was affecting our teens’s self-esteem, but this powerful ‘reverse selfie’ ad has put this growing problem in the spotlight.

It’s a scary thought, knowing that our teens edit and retouch their selfies to the point where they no longer look like themselves. And during a time in their lives where self-esteem is already at a precarious state, social media exacerbates it more. Being stuck in a pandemic doesn’t help either — teens and kids are spending a lot more time on their phones, which takes the dangers of social media to a whole new level.

Why every parent needs to watch this ad

This powerful ad from beauty brand Dove sheds light on the negative impact of social media on teens’ and kids’ lives. It shows how retouching apps and the pressure to post the ‘perfect selfie’ affect their self-esteem and confidence.

reverse selfie girl

How it happens

The ad starts off with a young, child-like teenage girl looking at a very, very edited photo of herself on social media. Time goes backwards, stripping layers of makeup and changes the girl made to her image.

You’ll notice that the edits go beyond makeup — she’s given herself Kylie Jenner-esque lips, bigger eyes and a new hairstyle. She even smooths out her skin, making her blemishes disappear.

The girl goes further, editing out all the kiddie items in her room. The scene shifts, and now the camera starts to show events in reverse order, showing the girl adding heavy makeup on her face, eyes and lips. It ends with the teenage girl as herself — sans makeup and edits, looking at herself unhappily in the mirror. What appeared to be a woman on social media, is, sadly, just a young 13 year-old girl — a very different person from what her selfie implied.

So what should we do?

Try as we may to raise well-adjusted, confident daughters, there’s no doubt that social media continues to have a negative effect on kids’ and teens’ sense of self-worth. We hear about the correlation between this obsession with social media and suicide and to be honest, it’s scary as hell. Here’s how to deal:

Tips for parents:

  1. Do our research: Social Dilemma on Netflix is a good place to learn more about the effects of social media on teens.
  2. Hold off on cell phones as long as possible.
  3. Be strict about screen time — there’s no reason a teen should be on social media for four to five hours a day.
  4. Any child below 13 shouldn’t be allowed to be on social media

Let’s face it — social media isn’t going anywhere. But placing limits on our kids and teens use of social media is a good start towards a healthier relationship with technology. We’ve got this!

Related articles:

What Are Our Teens and Tweens Doing Online?
Should Parents Let Their Kids Have Their Privacy Online? Here’s Why This Mom Disagrees
What To Do When Your Child Hates Online Learning