Dove does it again. With only 4% of women around the world thinking they are beautiful I believe this video did its job to promote positive body image and prevent self-hate.
This video tugs at the heart strings and shows that we are our toughest critiques.
Dove took a trained FBI forensic artist to sketch portraits of the women, who were hidden behind a curtain, based on their own descriptions of their facial features. The second part of the experiment was to have others describe those same women and compare the portraits side-by-side. The differences were alarming. Often the portrait where the woman described herself was darker in shading, had poor or closed off posture, and was older than the actual woman in real life. The portraits where others described the woman were lighter and vibrant, younger, and in my opinion more accurate of the actual woman.
Now I want Dove to do this campaign with younger girls around five or six years-old, super models and shoot why not go for it all and do this experiment with men?
Today I want each of you reading this (yes, you too guys) to stop the self-hate and start to realize that you are beautiful. Let’s beat the statistic. Positive thinking is powerful and how you view yourself affects how others, in all aspects of your life, view you. So make the promise to yourself because you deserve it, because you are beautiful, because you are you!
Repeat after me: I am beautiful!
I can’t hear you!: I AM BEAUTIFUL.
Oh yes, yes you are! Git it girl!
Often the Thigh Gap is camouflaged to being motivation for exercise and fitness. Image from the Thigh Gap Tumblr
OK so the first I heard of this new body image obsession was on The Kane Show, the morning radio show I listen to make my hour or longer commute bearable. You should listen. The DJs are an entertaining bunch.
Why is this a new and dangerous obsession? Well besides that fact that it’s predominately runway or severely photoshopped models that sport this new “trend,” it’s damn near impossible to achieve this “gap.” Teen psychologist Barbara Greenburg called it an “unattainable goal.” Agreed. Personally the closest I ever got to a “gap” was between my teeth during my adolescences for which slllooowwwly corrected, we’re talking 5 years people, by braces due to my over bite and a whole mess of other dental problems. Thanks genetics.
No really, genetics plays a huge role in how we’re built. I like to call it the 50/50. Half is genetics and half is the lifestyle we lead, which means what we eat, how often we exercise and being overall happy campers. Also side note these genetics mean some of these images on Tumblr and walking up and down a runway have bow’d legs which can look just like a Thigh Gap.
Dove Canada’s recent ad campaign by Ogilvy Toronto used reverse psychology of sorts to inform those graphic designers, photo editors and art directors, who are responsible for copying, pasting, shrinking, deforming, whitening images what Real Beauty really is. In order to get straight to the source of the problem, said editors, Dove packaged their message to in the form of a Photoshop Action, a downloadable file that applies an effect with a single click. They created their “Beautify” Action that appeared to add a skin glow effect and planted it on websites that these creatives already visit. However, it reverted the image they were applying this “glow” to back to its original pre-altered state. Genius….though I suppose a bit misleading. Ok, ok a lot misleading.
Advertisements, magazines, “get skinny” websites, and social media networks like Pinterest are often the sources of what we as females, and males for that matter, view as beautiful. It’s everywhere! We are suffocated daily by these images and sure, we understand this celebrity or that model are apart of this fantasy world when we’re flipping the pages of a magazine or scrolling endlessly on our computers. But we are often left standing in front of the mirror naked going “wait, where did that dimple come from and when did that zit decide to rent space on my face?” It’s bonkers, and it makes me mad. Hmph.
Former BRAC Bangladesh senior manager in the education program, Farzana Kashfi, turned this idea on its head. In most developing countries women don’t have spaces to themselves where men aren’t allow. Often times boys will hang out in public roadside or at the shops in town, but you would hardly see girls gathering. By providing women with a “safe space” in the form of these “girl empowerment clubs,” they can escape the pressures of family life and pressures of a male-centrist society to focus inward and share their story in this real life social network. There are about 10,000 of these clubs worldwide with about 275,000 members who gather to sing, dance, learn and thrive. Peer mentors, who are trained by BRAC teach the girls life skills, health awareness, financial independence with access to micro-loans and ways to reach their fullest potential.
To watch Kashfi describe more on “Safe Spaces” watch the clip here.time stamp: [40:00-44:55]