Have you seen the latest in Dove's campaign for Real Beauty? No? Well, here you go - watch this...you are welcome.
I first saw this on MSN.com and it made me cry. Now granted, I was still shell-shocked from the Boston tragedy; but still. Telling isn't it? What most women think of themselves.
I shudder to think what my portrait might have come out looking like. Because I know that when I look in the mirror, or give any thought to what I look like, I immediately focus on the negative much more than I do on the positive. My chin is too sharp, my legs are too short, I could stand to lose a few pounds, and on and on and on.
Is it any wonder we think this way when mainstream media is constantly force feeding us with images of impossibly perfect women - most of whom are airbrushed, photo-shopped creations of someone else's idea of perfection?
What is also apparent is how much words stick with us - even if they weren't said with malice. "My mom told me I had a big jaw," these words were spoken by a woman maybe in her 40's - and this is something that has stuck with her all these years. Not that she had beautiful cheekbones or eyes - but that she had a big jaw; which she perceived to be a flaw.
But most telling of all was hearing what the people had to say, when asked to describe the person they'd met. Not once, did they mention the jaw, the protruding chin, the round face, the freckles...or any of the perceived flaws.
And then, the reveal - where the two different portraits are shown. And that's the part that really got to me - their reaction to how they saw themselves versus how someone else - a neutral party - saw them.
According to Wikipedia; Dove launched this Real Beauty campaign in 2004 and the guiding principle is to celebrate the differences in all women and to inspire confidence in women.
And I say, "Bravo, Dove."
I don't know what it's going to take for women to accept themselves; to celebrate their own beauty; to change that inner dialogue that most of us have in our heads. But this is a start.
Once again, this is NOT a sponsored post - just my own thoughts.