Dove Ad Highlights a Mother’s Impact on Daughter’s Self-Esteem

ABC News' Amanda Keegan reports:

Dove’s buzzy new short film titled “Legacy” asks women to share how they feel about their bodies, but then poses the same question to their daughters.

“My number one hate on my body is… ,” one mother begins reading in the advertisement. “My eyes are wonky,” another finishes. “My bigger arms” or “I have very big legs,” two other women say.

The powerful ad shows mothers just how much their behavior can leave a lasting impact on their daughter’s lives.

“Oh, she said her thighs too, didn’t she?,” one mom reacted after hearing her little girl’s similar response.

“I don’t like my arms and she doesn’t like her arms either,” realized another.

“She really picks up a lot of my ways. She really does,” one more noted, shocked by her daughter’s similarities to her own insecurities.

It’s an issue Babble.com blogger Jeannette Kaplun, of Aventura, Florida, experienced first-hand.

The naturally curly-haired mother says she straightens her hair for special occasions—a simple act that, just like in the Dove film, has made her young daughter, Sofia, question her own beauty.

“My daughter actually told me, ‘Straight hair is beautiful, curly hair isn’t,’” Kaplun told ABC News of her daughter’s remarks. “’Anytime you want to look extra pretty, you straighten out your hair.’”

It wasn’t the only lifestyle decision that appeared to rub off on 9-year-old Sofia. She also picked up on Kaplun’s efforts to lose a few pounds.

“I don’t want her to be obsessed by her weight,” said Kaplun.

Now she says she is more careful about the comments she makes about her appearance.

“I realized I’m not doing a great job as a mom if she is thinking these contradictions and it’s making her doubt her own beauty,” Kaplun explained.

The mothers featured in Dove’s film had the same surprised reaction.

“Looking at it, she really picks up a lot of my ways. She really does,” one noticed.

“How I feel about myself really affects how she feels about herself,” another added.

The advertisement closes with the remarks, “The way a girl feels about her beauty starts with how you feel about yours. What’s your beauty legacy?”

For these moms, it has opened their eyes to thinking twice before they open their mouths to say something negative about their bodies, especially in front of their young daughters.

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