Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How would YOU describe your features?

You may have seen this video campaign by Dove going around the Internet. It's called Real Beauty Sketches and it's absolutely fascinating. It really resonated with me as I have recently accepted the challenge to love my whole body, even the flaws. You HAVE to watch it. If you're anything like me, you'll be a puddle before the end.

I became more and more discouraged throughout the video as each woman -- all very beautiful in my opinion -- exaggerated her flaws to the forensic artist in various tones of resentment and distaste. How were they seeing those things in themselves? Things I hadn't even noticed. And I observed how they isolated these features and targeted them in a demeaning way, whereas when the strangers were asked to comment on the same features, they were much more complimentary and admiring in their communication.

It got me thinking -- how would I have described myself? Sadly, I know what I would have said. "I have a really small, upturned nose. Like a pug dog. Bags under my eyes. Small, wide-set eyes. Big teeth. A huge forehead."

Yep, just like those ladies in the video, I would have pinpointed what I perceive to be negative features and emphasized them, completely omitting the fact I have a radiantly huge smile, apple cheeks, full and pretty lips and expressive, sparkly eyes.

Why do we do this? Do we feel like we aren't allowed to see beauty in ourselves for fear that we will become vain and selfish? Do we feel undeserving of the beauty we possess? Are we conditioned to feel this way as a result of how others -- our parents, friends, teachers -- communicated to us as children and teenagers? Do we foolishly compare ourselves to the airbrushed, surgically-enhanced and heavily made-up faces in magazines and on television?

I believe it's all these things and more.

I want you to watch this video and put yourself in those women's shoes. What would you tell the artist about yourself? What important details would you leave out in fear of being perceived as vain? Also, think about what you would tell the artist about someone you love and admire -- your mother, your sister, your best friend. In describing them, would you capitalize on their imperfections or focus on those features that make them truly beautiful to you? You know the answer.

I'm glad Dove is talking about this in such an eye-opening yet constructive way. You go, Dove. We all need to hear it. All women are beautiful, but so many of us don't know it. Let's help each other see the beauty within ourselves. Give someone a heartfelt compliment today and tell them they're gorgeous. We can do this!


  1. I'm glad you blogged about this, because I would have done the same thing: very average features with a bold, roman nose.

    It's amazing what we do with ourselves.

    1. See, and you know what I notice about you most? The sparkle in your eyes and your warm, olive skin! You're truly beautiful.

    2. haha, thanks, Jenna. I look at your bright blue eyes and perfect skin and delicate features and just get so jealous. What is up with our own psyches?!


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