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The Selfie Project

By Emma Shakarshy--What is the purpose of a selfie? And what is its impact on self-esteem? How do we begin to love ourselves, selfie and all?

The nine fearless middle schoolers of the Longmont Colorado Girl Scout Troop 3392 set out to find out the answer to these questions.  With the inspiration of Dove’s Selfie video, they created the Selfie Project, an interactive event aimed to increase self-esteem and show young people that they are more beautiful, inside and out.

We had the incredible opportunity to speak with three members of this inspiring troop, Amber Reichenberg (12), Beatrice (Bebe) Lin (11), and Gayathri Budamgunta (11).

Proud2Bme: How did the Selfie Project begin?

Bebe: Basically, we were starting this Girl Scout journey called MEdia, a middle school Girl Scout curriculum that focuses on the ME in media. We focused on print media and how much of that is photosthopped and the false advertising that goes into print media to sell products to women and girls. So we were watching a bunch of things which cleared up some girls’ perceptions of beauty. We were on Youtube watching Dove commercials and found one called, ‘Selfie’ and we got inspired to create our own project.

Gayathri: We were starting to see how they use photoshop to change people’s natural beauty completely so we thought that we should do a selfie project to show girls their inner beauty.

Proud2Bme: What is the Selfie Project all about?

Bebe: It’s mostly about boosting self-esteem and making them more content and satisfied with themselves.

Amber: I think it’s also about seeing yourself as unique because in the video there was one girl who said she was self-conscious of wearing her hair down because she thought it was big and then everyone commented that her hair was one of her best traits.

Proud2Bme:  What did the Selfie Project look like?

Bebe: We asked girls from Girl Scout troops all around to send us selfies of themselves and then we printed them out on 11x14 sheets of paper.  We had 22 selfies and invited family, friends, and community members to come and participate. We stuck them up on the walls in the church that we were having the event in. Everyone who came got a pad of sticky notes and a pencil and they went around writing down comments about what they liked about that photo.

Gayathri: That helped us see how beautiful we are and it was pretty cool.

Amber: It was really cool to see all the nice comments people put up.

Proud2Bme: What were some of the reactions?

Bebe: People looked really happy and there was a great vibe around the room. There were about 80-100 people there!

Gayathri: It was amazing because we ended up being on the news and inspired some people. Then when I went out selling Girl Scout cookies, some people told me that they saw me on the news and that it inspired them.

Amber: It turned out really well. Even after people put up sticky notes, people stayed after to talk with each other and see what other people had written.  We got to connect with the pictures and other people, too! No one wanted to leave!

Proud2Bme: What do you hope people feel or learn as a result of the project?

Bebe: I think we all hope that people learned that it really matters what’s on the inside. Even if they don’t feel as confident about themselves, they can understand the concept that everyone is beautiful. I also hope people think twice before they judge people.

Gayathri: We wanted people to feel that they are beautiful and should appreciate and embrace who they are.

Amber: I hope that it taught people to stop comparing themselves to people in magazines. They’re photoshopped and not real people because how much is changed about their photos. 

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