I am not going to lie, social media is indeed a menace for some, a problem for others; but at the same time, solace for many. Social media has always had a rather conflicting aura to it. With pros and cons carefully weighed out, each detail scrutinized, features criticized and platform condemned, we often forget to look at the purpose of this huge revelation – to bring people together. It’s often that we see the ugly face of social media, one that body shames its partakers, insults them and brings self esteem to an all time low. This monster is what some recent movements and campaigns aim to defeat, and achieve true wellness for all.
But simply because a movement might originate on the other side of the world does not mean we cannot identify with it. That’s the beauty of social media. It brings people from all shades of society under one umbrella and helps them relate with one common cause.
Such is the story of the 10 recent self-esteem campaigns we will be focusing on. These campaigns originated as a result of negativity on the internet that is inherent in our society today. They rallied against body shaming, unachievable beauty standards and advocated for self love and self identity. A cause that thousands of men and women could relate to across the world, these movements changed perceptions:
Lane Bryant, a plus size clothing company launched its #ImNoAngel campaign in April, 2015. Featuring models like Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring and Candice Huffine, this campaign aimed at changing the definition of ‘sexy’ as we see it. This campaign spread rapidly and women from all across the world posted pictures with the hashtag ‘ImNoAngel’ to embrace all their beautiful quirks and imperfections, truly aiming to #redefinesexy.
RAW Beauty launched their #lessismore campaign in 2015. This petition asked magazines to lessen the amount of photoshop they use on their images featuring men and women. These images can often very negatively impact the youth as they do not understand that most of these pictures are photoshopped to enhance certain features. This campaign ensured that young women and men do not get influenced by society and media’s set definition of beautiful. (Raw Beauty Talks began in 2014 as an interview series featuring women without make-up, photo editing or filters with a goal of starting a global conversation about beauty, confidence and self love.)
Virgie Tovar, an author, and a leading expert on fat discrimination and body image – is the creator of #losehatenotweight – who defines herself as a “Fat, Brown, Babe, Feminist”. She lives by this philosophy and at many instances said that this guided her work as an activist and lecturer. This hashtag aimed at helping women get rid of the hate they receive for their body and move out of a negative headspace and into a positive, self loving one. Watch the video for more by Virgie.
Refinery 29’s revolutionary campaign aimed at bringing plus size women into the mainstream. They stated that there was an unconscious problem brewing in the media. Plus size women are hardly ever represented in the media, are vulnerable and subject to discrimination. In order to combat this, the reputed company launched the 67% project wherein – 67% of the bodies seen during the launch week would be plus size hence making a conscious effort to help plus size women regain their lost confidence.
The #bereal campaign recognized the impact body image can have on the youth-both physical and mental. It holds them back in life and constrains them from accomplishing things they wish to. Chaired by Mary Glindon MP and co-ordinated by YMCA England & Wales, the campaign was founded in partnership with Dove in 2014.
The campaign focused on three main aspects to help youth defeat their contentions; Real education, Real Health and Real diversity. Real education refers to helping children at a grass-root level; Real health to prioritizing a healthy living over simply weight and appearances; and real diversity focuses on the influence of the media in promoting what we really look like. It aimed to detach us from a fake sense of beauty and bring us into an arena of acceptance.
Dove launched a massive campaign in 2016 which advocated for self love, acceptance and standing up for oneself. Women in modern society have been judged on the basis of their appearances and further had their beauty used against them. The #mybeautymysay campaign threw light upon women who stood up for their beauty, becoming pioneers for many across the world.
Two girls, art and ambition makes for a great recipe. Desi girl, Tara Anand and Ellie Lee began their account on instagram in the midst of a society that expects girls to look, behave, and be a certain way as acceptable in community but expects them to fight amongst each other at the same time. The two artists regularly put up pictures of women across the globe with the #iamlikeothergirls to prove to the media and the world that we stand not against each other but as one, collective unit.
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#day33 #99daysofsketching #99daysofbranddoodling Love this project @iamlikeothergirls A project about solidarity! Mother India rebranding!! I have seen people take love and sincerity for granted, like other girls you should(and must) obey, this and that while, I enjoy flaunting my fake ego everywhere! Love and respect are mutual, it's not my responsibility only. Well,I petty them, you have no idea this "other girls" is my tribe and man, don't mess with us! I am not alone! #illustrations #art #artistsoninstagram #illustration_daily #strong #women #iamlikeothergirls #woman #strength #girlswholikegirls #loveoverhate #loveismutual #mutual #respect #tribe #iamhertribe #motherindia #rebranding
This controversial Always sanitary napkins ad recently went viral. The ad displayed a series of events played out, explaining the perception of femininity. A bunch of boys and adults were asked to perform certain tasks “like a girl”. When asked to do so, such as throw a ball like a girl, they thew their arms around or pretended to be weak. When young girls were asked the same questions, they performed each task with maximum gusto. This ad aimed to de-establish the established notion of the term “like a girl” and put in power a new definition to being a girl.
The world of fashion and politics have never been ones to mix. However, as a part of fashion revolution week, people from all across the world came together to join hands against a common force. Triggered by the collapse of a sweatshop in Bangladesh, the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013 – people began scrutinizing working conditions for labour working in such sweatshops and asking huge MNCs #whomademyclothes. This movement not only attacked fast fashion but at the same time also rose awareness about such harsh working conditions, proving to be the perfect crossover between politics and fashion – giving more power and self esteem to the actual people who made your clothes.
To end on an uplifting note is an event that truly touches the heart – Mathew Hoffman, an artist by profession and founder of the you are beautiful project in Chicago explained his journey and the idea behind ‘you are beautiful’ paintings all around the city. What first started as a sticker project has now grown rapidly all across the world. “People rally and relate with such a message and hence wish to identify with it.” He further adds that he chose this one particular phrase as it proves to be true no matter what and is one that everyone must know.
So, all those if you out there with problems, issues and contentions about your appearances – trust me, it’s alright. You are so much more than your appearances. You are your own person and you have these 10 campaigns to show for it. “You are beautiful, no matter what.”