Ever casually call yourself or someone else something negative? You're not alone — women across the country and world constantly take to social media to spread messages of negativity. Dove wants to change that, beginning with your relationship with the words you use to describe your body.
Launched on March 12 at South by Southwest, Dove's new tool is part of its #speakbeautiful campaign with Twitter in a "partnership for social change." It works simply. Any user can retweet this tweet, and in a few minutes, you'll receive a personal analysis of just how positive your Twitter has been in the past six months. In a series of five screens, you receive a percentage breakdown of how many words you use that are actually positive. After that, you'll see a breakdown of the most popular positive and negative words and how many of them you've used. The analysis then breaks down what time of day you're most likely to tweet something positive or negative. To bring this into a larger context, you'll see a map of the United States with a total number of how many body-positive tweets are happening with a percentage breakdown across regions. For example, at the time of writing, the Southwest has sent 14 percent body-positive tweets.
— Dove (@Dove) March 12, 2016
The idea behind this campaign is that you'll see how much you tweet negatively and start to change your habits around it. "I think the beauty of the speak beautiful event is that it shows you the impact [you have] on your community," said Patricia Cartes, head of global safety outreach in public policy at Twitter. "This idea of 'think before you post' — that's something we want to keep highlighting."
Dove's choice of Twitter isn't random. After looking at several social media platforms, Dove found that Twitter had a fair amount of negativity. "That was one of the places we felt we could have an impact," said Jennifer Bremner, brand director for Dove. "It's been more than 10 years that we've been trying to get women and girls to develop a positive relationship with beauty. And one of these places we know this conversation is happening is on Twitter."
Considering Twitter has long been called out for its weak policies toward abuse and harassment reports on the platform, Cartes assures that the website is trying to change and doesn't anticipate any misuse of a user's beauty analysis. "For now, it's a wait-and-see game," said Cartes. If the team at Twitter sees any abuse reports, then they'll take action. Dove's speak beautiful campaign is also no stranger to backlash from users. When it first launched a year ago, people on Twitter did not welcome the idea of a brand telling them how to feel without asking for it in the first place.
So far, no backlash yet — though the tool has been live for only a few hours. Currently, the initial tweet has more than 1,000 retweets and 400 likes. Take a look ahead to see what the beauty analysis actually looks like, and then try it on your own. It's a refreshing concept aimed at changing the way we speak about ourselves and others, without too much subliminal advertising from Dove.