Dove Tells Us That We Are More Beautiful Than We Think. (and it’s true!)

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about the words “BODY ISSUES”, which come together to represent the concept of the things we don’t like about our physical selves. We hear them more frequently than not:

  • I’m too fat.
  • I’m too skinny.
  • My nose is too wide.
  • I don’t like my hips.
  • I have back fat.
  • I hate my freckles.
  • My hair is too [nappy/thin/thick/short]

The list goes on.

From a young age,  most women are taught to critique themselves, to assemble this list of “body issues” as opposed to celebrating themselves with a list of “body awesomes”.

Case in point: Dove’s new campaign that employs a forensic artist to draw two portraits of the same woman, one as she describes herself and the other as described by a complete stranger.  The results are powerful.  Each and every time, the self-described drawings depict a harsher image, while the one’s influenced by the description of a stranger are not only more “beautiful”, but also closer to reality.

Check it out:

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What does this say about us?

Dove says that “We are more beautiful than we think” and that “women are their own worst beauty critics”.  (I’d like to extend that to people in general as I think a lot of men experience this as well!)

Wouldn’t it be nice to change that up?  To change the conversation from “Body Issues” to “Body Awesomes”, from a critique to a celebration?

Let’s Give It A Try.

I’ll start.

  • I’ve never been a fan of my big thighs and derriere–it’s hard to find jeans that fit, especially in this land of “skinny-fits”.  But now, I’ve realized that they are awesome for  powering me up big hills on my bike and helping me run super fast.
  • My shoulders are awesome.  (And look damn good in a one-shouldered dress.)
  • My hair, which I once thought and was taught to believe was too thick and too nappy, is one of my most distinctive features.  Lola IS awesome.

What about you? What are your Body Awesomes? Share them in the comments!

 

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6 Comments

  1. This is unreal, Cass. I was literally just talking about this habit so many women have of focusing only on what they perceive as their flaws…many of which aren’t even flaws at all.

    I’ve always hated my upper arms…but then in Z’s wedding last summer, I saw pictures and thought…you know what? I look lovely. Enough with the crappy (distorted) view of your arms. I also had the joy recently of reading some lovely feedback from dear friends on what they liked about me…and each one mentioned something physical along with the emotional/personality-focused. Every single one. My hair. My booty. My face. My skin. It was so overwhelmingly the opposite of the things I always told myself that I had to stop and think: what if I appreciated myself a little more and criticized myself a little less? What would that world look like?

    And I’ll tell you: It. Looks. Awesome.

    Love you much.

  2. this is AWESOME

  3. Yay! Thanks for posting. My body awesome:
    1. i really like my arms, especially my arm hairs.
    2. my boobs are small. While i am sometimes still bothered i also love that i dont even have to wear a bra to run, much less do anything else. also, small boobs help me…
    3. look athletic. ive got that going for me (i work at it!)
    4.i love my abs, even when sometimes they get a little more cushion :)
    5. my hair is nice these days, especially since you helped me learn it have a curl!
    I could keep going.. but what this dove thing really made me think of is this: my bf always tells me im beautiful, and honestly sometimes i think hes just being nice. Im going to allow myself to know I am beautiful!

  4. This is a great post!!! Thank you for this!!

    I got some big thighs, I have the same issue with jeans, but they are powerful. I used to jump as high as the men in ballet class.

    I’ve always thought I had beautiful eyes :)

    I used to be ashamed of my big lips, I was teased about them for years, now I see them as full and sexy, I bought my first red lip stain to show em off!!!

    Learning to love my tummy, not there yet but that tummy carried and sustained my baby girl 4 years ago and I think that makes it phenomenal:)

  5. This is an interesting subject, and also critical when establishing self-worth and self-preservation in a culture obsessed with beauty (a word that’s almost as problematic as “truth” insofar as its inherent broad, social implications).

    Over the weekend I was speaking with a close friend of mine, a woman, beautiful and vibrant from within and without. I asked her a question that I thought was simple, but I soon realized its socio-cultural-personal complexity. I asked: How beautiful do you think you are? She muttered something, looked me in the eyes, glaringly, and added, “What kind of question is that?”

    From her response, I quickly realized the question needed some amending. I asked: Do you know how beautiful you are? Again, she muttered, looked me in the eyes and said that my questions promote self-absorption in the respondent. To this I disagreed.

    My immediate — and current — reaction to my friend’s reactions impulsively brought about more questions. Why are we afraid to embrace the self? The self’s worth? The self’s beauty? I don’t think it’s too much, or aggrandizing, to believe in one’s own beauty. But I do understand where my friend was coming from (potentially). It’s entirely possible that she’s afraid of being pegged a narcissist. But with me, a truly objective confidant in the sense of what a friend is and should be? Impossible. So I ask the deeper question (of the reader): Why are we afraid of being admittedly beautiful in our own eyes?

    I think that the construct of beauty is a poison in the wrong hands – the hands of the advertiser, the purveyor, the corporation. It becomes so loaded a term before it reaches the consumer that when it does reach our counter tops, our faces, our bodies, our minds, we have already established a construct of impossible proportions that we can do nothing but turn this artificial construct of beauty into self-hate. How can we possibly stack up against everything we’ve read and watched and consumed? Well, the answer is, we can’t. It is not possible to equate oneself to a myth, to a specter, to a figment of the imagination of an entire industry. We can, however, equate ourselves to the self and the self alone. There is no race, no battle to be won. Self-love has no victor because there can be none suffering defeat in such a paradigm.

    Back to the original conversation: Finally, unable to help herself because she, like me, cannot help but speak the mind, said that she regarded herself as no more than average; her beauty was nothing special on either side of the fence. I believe that this sentiment is perfectly fine if being average was not stigmatized as being less-than some greater ideal of beauty. I found this disconcerting to say the least. That this woman, one of the most beautiful women I have ever had the fortune of meeting, regarded herself as less-than something else, brought me pause.

    All I’m trying to say is, I dig this blog post, Cassidy. I think what you’re doing – showing that natural beauty is nothing short of natural – is vital for the consciousness of a population deprived of self-preservation via self-worth. As many have said before me, love starts at home. We need to build the foundation with our own brick and stone before we venture outside of ourselves.

  6. Hey Cassidy,

    I just recently started a blog (like yesterday lol)about my transition to natural hair and other things like fashion. You really inspired me to do so because I love your blog! I was wondering if you had any tips and tricks for a rookie blogger like me on how to attract a greater audience and just allow my blog to grow..
    Thanks in advance,
    Aminata
    P.S. This is my blog: pursuitofnaturalhairandafashionaffair.blogspot.com/

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