As women we can become over critical of the way we look, dress think and act. We never seem to embrace the characteristics we like about ourselves but ridicule ourselves “my noise is too big” or “my chin isn’t thin enough” all statements that were all guilty of making. How you view yourself becomes a distorted reality whereas, how others perceive you becomes a more accurate representation of how you look, dress, think and act.
The advert for Dove follows a forensic artist, one of those people who draw crime suspects based on witnesses’ descriptions. In this case, he draws facial portraits of several women based solely on what they tell him. He can’t see them. Then he draws pictures of the same women based on what people who have only interacted with them for a short while describe. In almost every case, there’s a massive difference between the two images of each woman.
Dove launched a new campaign where in which it aims to highlight the difference of how women see themselves on a day-to-day basis compared with how others see them. The difference was immense, and it showed me that were more beautiful than we think we are. Sometimes the people who are responsible for our self-loathing is us, as women we can be our own worst enemy. In a study 2003, young women were asked to pick out their body image from a range of figures. On average, they picked figures that were 11lb (5kg) heavier than their actual weight.
We spend more times fretting about features we dislike and want to change than on the features that we do like, which would inevitably result in us feeling more positive and confident about our bodies.
My message is why does it take a stranger to point out to you that you have nice hair or your eyes are nice why can’t this be already be known. What do you see in the mirror? We should all do something that actively helps body confidence but leaves us feeling positive about the way look and feel. For example Jodie March who was a victim of constant bullying had suffered constant verbal abuse for years “I’m ugly, I’ve got no friends, and it’s always going to be like this.” However, after finding what makes her happy in life, it has created an inner confidence for her. I’m not saying its this easy but through activities like singing or dancing can really build-up confidence and can act as signifiers of improving self-esteem.
When was the last time you complemented a female on the way they looked or how they dressed or the accessories they used to match their outfit, appearance isn’t always important but it is to so many. In the advert a woman is quoted saying “I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children. It impacts everything. It couldn’t be more central to your happiness.” Imagine how good it would feel for someone to say to you “your hair looks nice” or “that’s a nice jacket you’re wearing where did you get from”? As women we tend to be scornful of other women who look good we often think “she obviously thinks she’s all that”.. or “she’s looking to impress the guys” when really in most cases we dress nicely in order to feel good about ourselves. The reality is being body confident isn’t about a competition on who can dress the nicest or who looks better but being comfortable in your own skin and that’s hard if people bully you or make feel uncomfortable for the way you look.
So i urge guys and girls to empathetic if you see someone perhaps a girl or guy that looks nice let them know don’t be afraid to complement someone, its small things like that leave someone feeling good about themselves. After all that’s whats it’s all about feeling good in ones own skin!
Dove’s real beauty sketches