Monday, May 20, 2013

You Are More Beautiful Than You Think - Dove

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I first understood what it meant as a girl to have others judge your physical looks. It was in my junior secondary school, we were in a group and the other girls were talking about how pretty each of them looked, from the hair, eye brows, nose and mouth, and how they felt this would determine their chances with being popular with the boys.

I was sitting with them, and could hear them, but I was more invested in the book I was reading than the discussion. Still one of them called my name and they all gave their opinion. I was not tall enough they said, and I was dark skinned. Also my features were not regular or pretty. One who was nicer added that I was attractive in a non-regular way. She liked my eyes and smile.

I took my book and left them, but as you can see that conversation has stayed with me. And sometimes when I look in the mirror, I remember their words as I move my features around and judge myself.

Fact is that whether others do it for us or not, we women can be very hard on ourselves about how we think we look to others, both men and women. We agonize over this feature or the other, analysing and agonising. Some who can afford it go the cosmetic surgery route, some who can't inject all manner od substances including cooking oil or cement into their faces, butts, etc.

Seriously though, we need to pause sometimes, stop and think. How healthy is this attitude to our self esteem? What example are we setting for our daughters, our sons, and the young people around us?

This new beauty ad from Dove reveals just how far off some of us women are when it comes to our physical looks, the difference between how we see ourselves or how we think we appear to others, and how they really see us.

Watch the ad below, and see some of the pictures.

Dove got a forensic artist to sketch a group of women based on their own descriptions of themselves. He then sketched a separate picture of each woman based on a stranger's description. The sheer disparity between how each woman described herself and the way a stranger described the subject was vastly different - and a startling reminder of how we need to learn to embrace ourselves, right now.

One subject notes after seeing the discrepancies between her self-description and the alternate portrait, "It's troubling. I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices in the friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children, It impacts everything. It couldn't be more critical to your happiness."

See more at the Dove real beauty site.


  1. I can't believe no one else commented on this. I LOOOVVVVVE LOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEE THIS!!!

    I think this ad should be played in all highschools and middle schools. Because as you can see from your little anecdote, that phase of life is when kids (especially females) become very critical of their appearances and no matter how strong we grow or independent, no matter how much makeup or weave, that essential definition of our beauty as defined by random unimportant people to our hearing will always stay with us.

    And I think if the kids can see this at that stage when they are just beginning to form these identifications then it will go a long way in changing their mindset. Beauty works from the inside out :)

    1. I totally agree with you. Empowering teenagers with the right sort of information is key. Those are our most impressionable years, and peer pressure and the media can become very loud voices in our head that stay with us for the rest of our lives.

  2. Great article. I will be facing a few of these issues as

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