Sometimes when I am being critical of myself, my boyfriend says, “I wish you could see yourself through my eyes—then you’d relax.” Pause for an, “Awe, how sweet.” And it is sweet, and this is literally what the new Dove marketing campaign went out to do.
“You are more beautiful than you think” is the most recent marketing slogan put out by Dove in their real beauty sketches campaign. The campaign brought together a group of women of varied ages and backgrounds and a forensic artist. The forensic artist created 2 drawings of each woman—one from her own description and the other from a complete stranger. Then these two images were hung side-by-side.
What is interesting is that the two images reflected the tone of the verbal descriptions. For example, the woman whose portrait is being done describes herself as having “a pretty big forehead” while a stranger describes the woman with positive imagery, “She had blue eyes, very nice blue eyes.” The portraits completed using the strangers descriptions were “lighter” and “happy” in comparison to the self-described portraits.
At the end, each woman was confronted with both images and they were able to physically see how they viewed themselves in comparison to how other people viewed them. For many, it seemed to have a very positive impact—they realized how harsh they were with themselves—and it offered an opening to seeing oneself through the positive lens of another and to the possibility of self-love.
There are individuals who have made negative comments about this campaign. Some feel that it is too focused on outward appearance; others feel that it’s just a marketing ploy.
But whatever your take on it, I’d like to stay with the theme and see the beauty of this campaign—like those strangers seeing the beauty in the women they were describing. What I like most about this campaign is that it asks us to see the same beauty in ourselves that others see. And in this way it asks us to be gentler with ourselves. And when we can be more gentle with ourselves, then we see others with a softer lens too. And perhaps in turn, they will see themselves with a softer lens, and in turn another, and another. Be gentle with yourself—and pass it on.
Watch the video and see what you think!
Article about Dove Real Beauty Sketches in the Huffington Post: