Hesitant to Post a No Filter Selfie? Dove Campaign Focuses on Diminishing Self-Esteem

The campaign in China features a documentary-style short film with women discussing their “beauty anxiety”.

So, you’ve got your smartphone up, well-positioned, and click – another selfie added to your camera roll. But, would you post that picture of yourself without editing or adding filters to it?

According to a new campaign from Dove called ”我的美,我说了算” or “My Beauty, My Say”, if you were to ask young, Chinese women, the answer is an overwhelming ”no.” And, they add, “the pressure to present an ideal image online is tearing down the self-esteem of girls across China.”

Across the country, more and more young women rarely consider posting an entirely unedited picture of themselves. Dove cites data from joint Wenjuan.com that found 78 % of women retouch or add filters to their selfies before posting.


To address this problem with diminishing self-esteem, Dove and Forsman & Bodenfors, Shanghai have partnered together to launch a campaign where women decide to post unedited photos of themselves and talk about unrealistic beauty expectations.

The campaign highlights these insights with a documentary-style film following a number of Chinese women who share their personal stories regarding their appearance.

Over the course of the five-minute film, they reveal that “posting non-beauty filtered pictures is like stripping online”, while also discussing their beauty anxiety and which parts of their face and bodies they prefer to alter before sharing them online.

According to the campaign:


“When confronted with childhood pictures of themselves, the film takes an emotional turn when the women realize that their younger selves didn’t need nor want any photo filters. When asked if they would like to be part of a photoshoot and post entirely unedited pictures of themselves, they’re initially reluctant but eventually agree.”

You can see the film here:

“For over 60 years, Dove has advocated for real beauty, representing beauty as it is in real life,” said aid Alessandro Manfredi, Executive Vice President at Dove Brand.

“With the advancement in mobile technologies and applications – especially in China and Asia, digital distortion is now happening on a much bigger scale with selfie beautification apps having profoundly changed how we look at ourselves and each other.”

The campaign notes that with so many apps available that easily allow image-altering capabilities that once were reserved for photoshop “the social pressure of always looking your best online has triggered more people – not just celebrities or influencers – to alter characteristics in our appearances that we believe are flaws.”

“We see so much creativity and expression of self-identity through the use of filters and editing apps, but these apps are used to digitally distort images to conform to narrow beauty standards, with women, in particular, feeling the pressure to edit and distort themselves to create something ‘ideal’ which cannot be achieved in real life,” added Manfredi.

The campaign consists of the documentary-style film as well as non-edited pictures of the women participating in the campaign. It will across China starting and launch globally in the coming months.

“We’re happy to once again work with Dove on this global insight that is so relevant in China,” said Sherry Shi, Creative at Forsman & Bodenfors Shanghai.

“In the making of the campaign, we met with nearly a hundred women who shared their emotional stories with us. We feel that it’s so important that we continue to highlight how skewed beauty expectations have become, and promote women’s natural beauty.”  


Client: Dove

Campaign: 我的美,我说了算 (“My Beauty, My Say”)

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors Shanghai

Bella Zhao – Client Service

Douglas Lin – Strategy

Jeffrey Chow – Production

Ona Wu – Creative Art

Robin Yuan – Social

Sherry Shi – Creative Copy

Sue Su – Strategy

Tim Ling – Client Service

Yangwei Wu – Creative Art

Production Company: Central Studios


Director: Jess Zou

Photographer: Mark Gong

Executive Producer: Rodney Evans

Producer: Joy Chiang

Post-production house: MPC

Music: Big Sync

Sound Mixing: Ker Sound

Images provide courtesy of Forsman & Bodenfors Shanghai.


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