Embracing beauty at every age: the “Fragments of Beauty” initiative against age-shaming
Today marks Safer Internet Day 2024, an annual event dedicated to promoting safer and better internet use. With the hashtags #SaferInternetDay and #SID2024 and an extensive social media campaign under the motto “Together for a better internet”, Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns, from cyberbullying to social networking and digital identity.
Over the years, this day has evolved into a crucial event in the online safety calendar and is now celebrated in approximately 190 countries around the world.
In an era dominated by the power of social media, the impact of our digital lives on our self-esteem and perception of beauty cannot be underestimated.
It’s a realm where countless individuals face discrimination and ridicule simply because of their physical appearance. Age, in particular, seems to be a common target for shame and hatred. Whether people choose to show the natural signs of aging, or they decide to intervene to improve them, the result stays the same: vitriolic words that don’t spare anyone. The phenomenon, known as “age-shaming” or “beauty-shaming” affects approximately 27 million women on social media platforms every day.
The recognition of this pervasive issue led to the birth of “Fragments of Beauty,” an artistic endeavor by Swiss artist Simon Berger, in collaboration with McCann Health Boot and RELIFE, the Menarini Group Company that aims to promote a revolutionary approach in Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine.
This initiative strives to make a powerful statement against age-shaming, advocating for self-esteem, inclusion, and respect for all, regardless of age or appearance, with the idea that the perfect blend of creativity and communication is achieved when art reorganizes the elements of reality, breathing new life into them and reaching the hearts of people.
At the core of “Fragments of Beauty” lies a captivating artwork, a female portrait that transcends its visual form to become a symbol of resilience and self-acceptance.
To create this masterpiece, Berger employed an unconventional tool: a hammer on a glass wall.
But the true essence of this masterpiece lies not only in its creation, but in the messages it bears. The glass wall serves as a canvas, upon which are etched hundreds of offensive comments collected from social media. These comments, originating from more than 12 countries, represent the unfiltered, cruel words directed at women merely for looking older or making personal choices about their appearance.
From these fragments of destructive hatred arises a portrait, a testament to the indomitable strength of human spirit that defies the weight of negative judgment and stands as a powerful message to all women: “You are unique. You are beautiful. Be yourself.”
The protagonist of “Fragments of Beauty” is Sanne de Regt, an actress and model who chose to share her own experience with aging and public image: when she began to show the inevitable signs of aging, she became a target of online ridicule. With her story, Sanne wants to highlight the message that beauty should be defined by how we see ourselves, not by the opinions of others.
On September 24th, during Milan Fashion Week, the work of art found its place where it was conceived, among people. It was exhibited in Piazza XXV Aprile, Milan, to spread the message of respect and inclusion to the passers-by.
Today, Fragments of Beauty has found its home in Menarini’s Florence headquarters, providing employees with the opportunity to appreciate it daily and draw inspiration from the profound impact of art in promoting timeless and unapologetic beauty.
“Fragments of Beauty” serves as a powerful accompaniment to RELIFE’s new campaign, aptly named “Beautify Time“. You can’t stop time, but you can slow it down and make it beautiful. This campaign introduces a revolutionary approach to anti-aging, rooted in the values of conscious innovation and placing the individual at the center of the journey. It aims to encourage those who seek to harmonize with their own skin at any age and nurture their “bellessere,” the well-being that transcends physical appearance.
With this initiative, RELIFE lends its support to the #StopAgeAnxiety movement, recognizing the importance of fighting age-shaming and empowering individuals to embrace their authenticity: “Fragments of Beauty” is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, the power of art to transform hatred into resilience, and the message that age-shaming has no place in our society.
On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, it is crucial to remember that words have a lasting impact, even through a screen, and that we should not let others dictate how we feel about ourselves.
In this regard, Fragments of Beauty inspires us all to embrace our individual beauty, not as society defines it, but as we see it within ourselves. We are unique, we are beautiful, and we should never stop loving ourselves.
Watch the Fragments of Beauty video: