Dove Real Beauty Sketches Campaign Proves We Are Our Own Worst Critics
Staring across the table he smiles and tells her she is beautiful. She does not see herself as beautiful. She does not fit the criteria of beautiful set by society. She’s 45. She’s overweight. Her hair is graying and her sense of fashion needs a little help. It’s easy for him to tell her of the beauty he sees in her because he sees with his heart. He tells her of the physical beauty he sees then and then he focuses on her inner beauty which he believes enhances what’s on the outside. She tries not to cry while forcing herself to accept his words as truth. She wants to see herself as beautiful; he tells her she is. She is me.
Sometimes I play a game with my preschoolers where we follow our shadows. Recently one student said “Wow Ms. Karla, your shadow is big!” I played along pretending to chase her shadow with mine and we laughed. However, I immediately went to that place in my head that obsesses over my physical self. I know that the child is simply making a comparison between big and little; after all she is only three.
Dealing with our imperfections can be difficult. Comparing ourselves to the latest super model does nothing more than escalate a sense of being unattractive. I believe we all possess outer beauty, but the inner beauty is our soul. As I look at the word “imperfection” I am reminded by a testimony given by an acquaintance a few years ago. He said that as he looked at the word “imperfect” and studied the foulness of its meaning, he saw two separate words rise out of it; I’m Perfect. A low “ah haaa” fell across the room as folks began to grasp the idea that we are perfectly our own unique selves because no one else could be who we are individually.
I watched the new Dove beauty ad recently and I was not prepared for what I saw. Assuming it was just another commercial for a new product, I found myself with tear filled eyes. The commercial focuses on a retired forensic sketch artist speaking with various women on opposites sides of a curtain. He asks them to describe themselves and draws them according to their description. Later, he asks other participants to describe those same women and draws them accordingly. The outcome is incredible. As the artist reveals both pictures to the participants it becomes apparent that the self-described portraits were harsh, dark and less attractive, whereas the portraits drawn from the others were softer, brighter and quite attractive; more accurate.
Watch the video below:
What makes women feel the need to follow some societal idea set by beauty “experts”? What makes the experts the experts? Looking nice is important and taking care of our physical body is essential to living a healthy life. However, I believe that an equal balance of inner and outer characteristics makes one truly beautiful. If I were to describe myself on any given day I would probably not be too kind in the physical description, however, when I look within myself and am honest with I find it easier to see myself as beautiful.
As the women in the commercial come to realize their real beauty it becomes apparent that a weight is lifted off their shoulders. When asked if she could see herself as beautiful after this exercise, one participant choked back the tears and quietly says “yes”. Focusing on our own beauty taking into consideration attitude, actions, demeanor and physical presentation will allow us to be the most beautiful we can be.