Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dove Beauty Sketches

I saw the Dove Beauty Sketches video last night and had some... feelings... about it.

If you haven't seen the video yet, take a look: 

Immediately after watching, I felt empowered.

But then, a blog post popped up in my news feed written by my friend. I wanted to share it with all of you because it's a very different look on where this self-hate comes from.

Her blog post is included below:

Amidst all the senseless terror, confusion, and hurt surrounding the Boston Marathon yesterday, it was extremely comforting to come home to see a beautiful video with a heartwarming message.  If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out the Dove Real Beauty Sketches here.

This video has a great premise.  Ask any woman to name 5 things she hates about her looks and she'd probably ask: "just 5?"  Ask her to name 5 things she loves,
and I bet she'll come short after 2.  
This is a problem.  In a culture where our self-worth is measured by
how beautiful we are, how sexy men perceive us to be, and how we compare to other women, if only 4% of women see themselves as beautiful,
then does that mean only 4% consider themselves to hold any value?

These Real Beauty Sketches are attempting to change that.  Dove seemingly wants us to understand that we have a skewed perception of ourselves;
we are actually much more beautiful than we perceive.
If we learn to develop a positive self-image,
then we will be infinitely more happy, carefree,
and valuable.

However, I struggle to stand behind this campaign.
These "Real Beauty Sketches" are only reinforcing an emphasis on
aesthetics and "beauty."  If the women in these videos can learn
to see themselves as pretty, then they will be happy.  How is this a positive message?
At one point in the campaign, Florence says that our perception of our beauty:
"impacts the choices that we make, it impacts 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."
She then says that she has some work to do on herself (regarding self-image).

This message completely misconstrues the issue.
The problem here isn't that women have a negative self-image, but
that the norms and expectations in our culture perpetuate these
impossible stereotypes.  We are consistently being told that if
you aren't "pretty" enough, then you have no value.  This Dove campaign
is only further exacerbating the problem.
I would have liked to see a much different ending to this video. The woman should not be told that she is wrong for not perceiving herself as beautiful, but instead that society is wrong for placing emphasis on "beauty" in the first place.

Self-actualization and value shouldn't come from aesthetics; it should come from our accomplishments and the quality of our character.

Think about it.

Don't blame yourself for self-hate, and don't think it's entirely your fault. While you have the capacity to make a change in the way you view yourself, there may be forces working against you. Stay strong and remember that there are people surrounding you that love you and think that you are beautiful - inside and out. They may be people you pass by on the street, or they may be people you know intimately. To really solve this issue, change needs to start from the ground up. Change needs to start with media that portray women in an unrealistic way everyday. I personally appreciate Dove for at least bringing some awareness to this issue.

What are your thoughts on the video?

-- Jordyn

You can find Clara's blog here: http://cbdreaming.blogspot.ca/2013/04/real-beauty-sketches.html