During awards season, social media becomes a hotbed of commentary, with viewers discussing and dissecting each celeb’s look. Sure, plenty of it involves whose dresses or hairstyles we loved, but there are also endless worst-dressed and “what the eff was she thinking?!?!” tweets flying around, too.
So for the Oscars this year, Dove and Twitter have teamed up to encourage us to nix the negative tweets and instead #SpeakBeautiful. Their commercial (watch it below) will air during the red carpet portion of Hollywood’s biggest night, to remind viewers to share positivity instead of hurtful, negative posts.
The negativity doesn’t just happen during awards shows, though. On Wednesday night, in fact, the rapper Iggy Azalea announced she’s taking a Twitter hiatus after seeing all the negative tweets bashing her body in some photos taken of her on vacation in Hawaii.
I feel the hatred and pettiness i see online at all times is at making me become an angry person and I cannot be that.
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) February 19, 2015
While celebs seem to be the main targets of cruel, body-shaming tweets, women in general are simply more likely to post negative things about themselves on Twitter than positive ones, according to research done by Dove and social media researcher Danah Boyd. They also found that almost 3/4 of women believe social media comments critiquing women are destructive to their self-esteem, and over five million negative Tweets about body image were sent out in 2014. Yikies/
The #SpeakBeautiful clip shows the domino effect that positive Tweets could have, if we all start to be more aware of what we’re sending out into the Twitterverse. Social media shouldn’t be a place where we perpetuate hatred and put other women (or ourselves) down. If we start using more positive language, we can hopefully influence others to follow suit. To test this domino theory, the companies experimented replying to negative tweets with positive messages. A Twitter spokesperson told Mashable:
“We used a random Twitter account and @-replied to a user who said she was feeling ugly. We said she looked beautiful and looped in some of her followers, too. They responded and said she looked beautiful too. It was really neat to see the huge domino effect and how something negative was able to turn into something really positive.”
During the red carpet on Sunday, February 22, Dove and Twitter will also be implementing technology that flags a negative tweet, to which Dove self-esteem experts will respond with positive, constructive advice to empower women to speak with more confidence, optimism and kindness online.
“Ideas and opinions about body image are now fluidly shared every second through social feeds, and sometimes we do not fully realize the resounding impact of the words in even one post,” explained Dove’s director of marketing, Jennifer Bremner. “The power to #SpeakBeautiful is in the hands of us all — we can positively change the way future generations express themselves online.”