“How the hell do you prove something that you don’t even know where to begin?”
In her Creators For Change video, the ever-ambitious Em Ford decided to attempt the seemingly impossible and change the perception of beauty as we know it.
Together with a professor of human brain research she decided to investigate the impact it has on the brain when women see pictures on social media of models with and without make up.
The idea came to her following the awful messages she received after her 2015 viral video, YOU LOOK DISGUSTING, where she compared comments she’d received on photos with and without makeup.
In her words, “When [people] saw pictures of myself or other women without make up, they felt better about themselves.” While Em knew there was a neurological link, there was no data to back this up.
In the video, she talks to variety of women who all feel they do not meet society’s standards of beauty. Some suffer with skin concerns such as acne or vitiligo, while others are from different backgrounds with different skin tones. Each of them had a heart-breaking story to share. One of them admitted, “A girl every single guy liked – that’s the girl I wanted to be” while one woman felt unable to Skype her mum due to the change in her skin.
The women in the video are strong and brave in their own ways. During the video you see them undergo the brain scans to help confirm Em’s theory, while discussing what needs to be done to change the current perceptions of beauty. The main point which resonated with us was, “If we raise a generation of people who have only seen one thing. They are going to have in their mind-set this is beauty. That is it.”
Em explained: “I am not ok with that and I don’t think anybody should be ok with that.” Preach, girl.
The video proved Em’s theory, that the brain activity of these women actually resembled that of people going through traumatic events, which is hard to hear and makes you put the world of beauty and our perceptions of into perspective.
Em also started to reconsider her own role in this as someone who has passion for beauty. As she says, “I have worked with every major beauty brand in the world and this film is telling them, they are all the problem.”
She ends the video by asking each of ladies, “If you could redefine pretty what should the definition be?” Here is where, as a viewer, you get choked up as the women bare their souls on how they feel “pretty” should be redefined. “Pretty doesn’t have to be what we look like, what we look like does nothing. It is nothing.”
The film (produced and directed by Em herself) is just the beginning of what we feel like is becoming a significant moment in the beauty industry. As she says “I can sit here and make a fancy film but it doesn’t change anything unless you let it.”
So, what are you going to do? How will you help to redefine pretty?
Check out what happens when you try to wake up at 5am every day for a week. Alternatively, read about how The Lean Machines are tackling fatherhood.