"If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?"
Let's say someone asked you this question. What would you say? Your legs? Eyebrows? Forearms? Height? Butt?
As adults, we would probably answer the question by addressing the body parts we don't like. Children, on the other hand, seem to see things a little differently, as demonstrated by this video, produced by the Jubilee Project:
The 4-minute video, called "Comfortable: 50 People 1 Question," is simple but effective. It features real people speaking openly about their bodies and the things they would like to change. The first half focuses on adults, whose answers are quite sobering; one woman says she would change her skin, since "I have dealt with acne and eczema issues ever since I was a kid." A young man tells the camera that he would scrap "the puffiness of my face." Another woman likely speaks for many people when she asks, "Only one?"
The second half, however, gives children a chance to answer. Their responses? "A mermaid tail," "extra pointy ears," "legs like a cheetah so I could run faster," "teleportation in my body" and, best of all, "I don't think there's anything to change."
The message is clear. The video reinforces the idea that as adults, we're accustomed to internalizing negativity toward our bodies. This can come from any number of places, including society, peers or family. We focus on the so-called bad parts of ourselves and on things we want to take away.
Most kids, on the other hand, aren't yet exposed to this sort of personal revilement. They think of the things they want to add, and most of them are creative in nature.
What the video does [quite well] is remind us that the "adult" view of the world isn't the only view. We might not be kids anymore, but that doesn't mean we have to stop dreaming about what we'd do if we had shark mouths or teleportation abilities — and it doesn't mean that just because we're asked what we change about ourselves that there actually has to be something we should want to change about ourselves.
The video is reminiscent of Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign, which also attempted to get viewers to think about their bodies differently. The difference, though, is that while Dove's campaign was an implicit advertisement, "Comfortable" is more of a PSA. It's sponsored by a skincare company — which, to be clear, isn't ideal — but its primary purpose isn't to hock products for that company.
Is it going to solve society's deep-seated body image issues? Unlikely. But it might cause people to stop and think about how they view themselves.
"I like my body, actually," said the girl who just wants a mermaid tail.