Lizzo has shared a completely nude and unedited photo to Instagram in partnership with Dove for a campaign to encourage women and girls to embrace body positivity and form healthier relationships with social media.
“I wanna give y’all this unedited selfie... now normally I would fix my belly and smooth my skin but baby I wanted show u how I do it au natural," she wrote in the caption alongside the photo of herself, holding a coffee cup.
"I am excited to be partnering with @dove and the #DoveSelfEsteemProject which is helping to reverse the negative effects of social media and changing the conversation about beauty standards.".
The Grammy-Award winning singer has long been the queen of body confidence, so who better to front Dove's new Selfie Talk campaign?
Dove's powerful new campaign
The campaign, which launched with the unveiling of a powerful Reverse Selfie video, is focused on encouraging parents to have the “selfie talk” with their children – opening up conversations about using social media in a way that doesn’t negatively impact their mental health.
The campaign is part of the #DoveSelfEsteemProject, which is centred on “transforming social media into a more positive and empowering place for the next generation".
The aim is to tackle unrealistic beauty standards that are reinforced by social media feeds flooded with digitally enhanced images.
80% of girls have used a filter or editing app by age 13
While these images can have a negative impact on people of all ages, it seems that young girls could be the most susceptible, with research from Dove finding that 80 per cent of girls had used a filter or photo-editing app to change their appearance by the time they turned 13.
After a year of increased screen-time and subsequent increased exposure to unrealistic beauty ideals and pressures, there has never been a more important time to tackle the problem.
Explaining why she was so keen to get involved in the campaign Lizzo said: “I love how this generation is so creative in the ways in which they express themselves.
"It’s really inspiring to see how people are taking their identity and their beauty into their own hands. However, people are struggling with their self-image and self-confidence more than ever.
"This is amplified by the increasing pressure to show a digitally distorted version of ourselves, reinforcing the idea that our beauty in real life is not good enough or worthy of likes.
"That’s why The Dove Self-Esteem Project and I want you to have The Selfie Talk with a young person in your life. It’s happening to young people everywhere, so let’s talk about it.”
While social media filters and editing apps have enabled users to experiment with self-expression, they can also have a lasting and harmful impact on girls’ self-esteem.
According to the Dove research, girls who distort their photos are more likely to have low body-esteem (57%) compared to those that don’t distort their photos at all (24%).
The longer girls spend editing their photos, the more they report low body esteem, with 64% of girls who spend 10-30 minutes editing, having low body esteem, and 38% of girls who spend less than 10 minutes editing reporting low body esteem.
Meanwhile, 68% of girls said “that if images on social media were more representative of the way girls look in everyday life” they wouldn’t end up feeling judged on their appearance.
Commenting on the findings professor Phillippa Diedrichs, research psychologist at the Centre of Appearance Research at the University of West England, said although certain aspects of social media can promote connection and well-being, in recent years dozens of scientific studies have shown that social media can negatively influence body confidence, mood, and self-esteem.
"This happens when users spend significant amounts of time posting selfies, using editing apps and filters to alter their appearance, comparing themselves to others, and seeking validation through comments and likes," Phillippa tells Yahoo.
"It’s therefore imperative that we help young people to develop skills to navigate social media in a healthy and productive way.”
Families can download Dove's new Confidence Kit to help them talk to a young person about social media and self-image.
Reporting by Marie Claire Dorking.
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