Dove is known to have interesting ads that delve into questions about how women see themselves. Some of the results of their videos can be surprising but their most recent #ChooseBeautiful has the most shocking result (for me at least). When presented with 2 doorways, 96% of women will choose to walk through the door marked average instead of beautiful. There seemed to be absolutely no difference between the 2 except the name.
I was shocked because without a hesitation I’d walk through the beautiful door and took for granted that all my friends would as well. When speaking to one of my beautiful, talented, strong, independent, powerhouse of a friend, I asked which door she would choose. When she said, “Average,” I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t in a million years use the word average to describe her, not even to describe her pinky toe. We had an emotional and positive discussion about it that I think she would now walk through the beautiful door.
The door does not specify whether its referring to physical or spiritual beauty, it does absolutely nothing but ask a simple question: would you rather walk through a door that says beautiful or average. Some of the comments under the Dove video are so full of hate and rage against this video that again, I’m in shock. Some say it’s only focusing on the outside, some say it ignore’s a woman’s education and accomplishments, etc etc, but the overall feeling is that the word beautiful, when applied to women, is a dirty word.
What has happened to us that we can not call ourselves beautiful without all these negative feelings? Well sorry, but I’m beautiful and here’s why:
- I’m beautiful because I have a strong spirit.
- I’m beautiful because I love my family (even though they drive me nuts).
- I’m beautiful because I have freckles.
- I’m beautiful because my asymmetry makes me unique.
- I’m beautiful because I have tattoos.
- I’m beautiful because my hair is wild and frizzy when it rains.
- I’m beautiful because I’m there for my friends.
- I’m beautiful because I want to leave a positive impact on the world.
- I’m beautiful because I want everyone to understand they have their own beauty.
- I’m beautiful because, well because I think I am and I’m ok with saying that.
What makes you beautiful? Write your list, share it, and challenge your friends to write and share theirs. You’d be surprised by how vulnerable and rewarding creating your list can be. Or if you prefer handsome, say handsome. You should use whatever positive descriptive suits you.
Because you really are beautiful – to your friends, family and furry pets – why shouldn’t you be beautiful for you?
P.S. Here are some of my favourite videos that will make you think about how hard we are on ourselves as women and the impact is has on people around us.