Selfie aware: redefining beauty one photo at a time

Parent Info has partnered with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to offer parents advice and information to help children and young people build confidence and feel good about themselves.

In this article, we look at selfie culture and social media

Many parents worry about the effect social media is having on their child's body confidence and are often concerned that their child may be taking too many images of themselves in the pursuit of the ‘perfect’ images they see online. It's a good idea to try and familiarise yourself with the social media platforms your child uses and to have a conversation with them about the images they post online. This way, you should feel better-equipped to help your child use social media in a more positive way and ensure that what they’re posting and viewing online isn’t having a negative impact on them.

‘One day I was Photoshopping an image and when I’d finished, I hardly recognised myself. I thought: “That’s not me.” I realised that it was ridiculous – I really do want to be me’

Shannon, 14

Parent tip: Talk to your child about why people post selfies and the process they go through to do it. How real are they?

If you have an honest conversation with your child about some of the heavily-edited images online and explain that many people only post the ‘good times’, they will have a better understanding about what is realistic and achievable. Hopefully this understanding can ensure they don’t feel their own appearances are inadequate and that they need to think before believing everything they see online. 

Read more about how social media can affect teens’ appearance ideals

‘I was looking through my selfies last night and I realised that I am beautiful..’

In this video, young people and their mums take Dove’s ‘Selfie Challenge’. They take an ‘honest selfie’ with no filters and no edits and the results are displayed at a photography exhibition. Have a look at some of the comments people left behind on their photos on post-it notes and how this experience redefined the way young people felt about appearances. 

Download your FREE 40-page parent guide to boosting your child's self-esteem here

This downloadable pdf contains expert advice from Dove Self-Esteem Project global experts from the fields of psychology, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders and media representation to create a resource for parents that is focused on advice and action.  

Teachers: for free downloadable teaching resources, go to the Dove Self-Esteem Project area on

These pages are brought to you by Parent Zone and the Dove Self-Esteem Project


The advice published on Parent Info is provided by independent experts in their field and not necessarily the views of Parent Zone or CEOP.

First published: December 2017


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