A new Dove ad called “Reverse Selfie” is hitting home with parents everywhere. In the spot, a young girl alters her appearance (in reverse) for a selfie she posted on social media. Seeing her slowly stripped down of the filters, enhancements and makeup is downright unsettling as we realize that a beautiful young girl is so dissatisfied with her normal look.

The ad, created by Ogilvy, begins with a young girl showing a highly edited selfie that she’s posted on social with people commenting that OMG! she looks amazing. Slowly, we see in reverse all that she’s done to alter her appearance, from adding a filter on an app called “Photofix” to changing the shape of her facial features to even removing blemishes from her skin with her app. Even the size of her lips are changed for the “perfect” photo opp.

As we continue in reverse time, we see the hairspray, nail polish and makeup removed from what turns out to be a very young girl who, although beautiful to the viewer, cannot see that for herself.

“The pressure of social media is hurting our girls’ self esteem” flashes on the screen. “More screen time during the pandemic has made things worse.”

Viewers are then advised to “have the selfie talk today” and to visit to find out how.

“Let’s change beauty,” reads the tagline at the end of the ad.

It’s a bold message that will hit home with parents of girls and boys alike who may feel a constant pressure to put forth a “best self” that is nearly impossible to achieve.

“By age 13, 80% of girls distort the way they look online* ,” Dove posted along with the video. “Let’s change that. Social media is a big part of young people’s lives — but retouching apps and the pressure to post the ‘perfect selfie’ are hurting their self-esteem and confidence. Have the selfie talk with a girl you love to reverse the damage and celebrate real beauty. The Dove Self-Esteem Project can show you how. Get the Confidence Kit at Let’s Change Beauty”
* Based on the research results from the U.S. surveying girls who use social media; US n-556 age 10-17.