…And Why I Think The Discussion It Sparks Is Really Good For Us All
By: Shannon Shull
One of my amazing sisters sent me a link to this great Dove ad, with a note that said “This is cool! A video of how women perceive themselves verses how others perceive them.”
You may or may not have caught wind of or seen this video, but here is the link: http://www.upworthy.com/2-people-described-the-same-person-to-a-forensic-artist-and-this-is-what-happene?c=reccon1
And now here is the crucial part: make sure to take note of the credits posted after the ad video:
“Credits: ORIGINAL: By Dove. While we really like the experiment featured here, we do have some problems with this ad as a whole. Check out this critique by Jazz Brice and this post from our own Kaye Toal to find out why.”
If you actually take the time to watch Dove’s ad video, which you should, then you absolutely must read the bloggers’ responses to the ad.
In my opinion, all these folks involved – the Dove Ad Campaign people and these two bloggers – are fabulous on so many different levels.
I watched the video first and I admit, I totally cried. Yep, a tears-running-down-the-face, struggling-to-speak-straight kind of cry. Why it struck me so deeply is hard to explain. I was in the moment and the ad did its work – it reeled me in and tugged at my strings.
But… I actually caught sight of the credits note at the end of the post and then proceeded to read both of the links included. Now, here was the “A-ha!” moment for me: to read, consider and truly contemplate different perspectives. I admire bloggers Jazz Brice and Kaye Toal and consider their willingness and openness absolute genius. Whether you agree with their point of view or not is here-say. What matters – what mattered for me – was that they allowed me to think about this crucial topic in a different light.
I won’t repeat all the things I agree with and I won’t try to dissect every little thing about the video and their responses. But, I will say that I think everyone, men and women, should take note of how “beauty” is addressed in this video and the responses to it, and should then address your own take on it.
It made me take note of the sad fact that a majority of the time, if there is a discussion about beauty among my friends/family and I, the main topic is usually about what things we would change about ourselves if we could. Can you remember a time when the focus of a beauty discussion was about applauding your individual strengths? The things that you feel good about when it comes to your own appearance? I’d bet money that even Victoria’s Secret models have discussions about the things that they DON’T like about themselves.
And think about it, most of us would feel like we’d be perceived as conceited if we actually applauded the things we might consider positive and attractive about ourselves. And that my dears, is just plain sad. But it’s a sad truth about society today.
The main thing that I got from watching the Dove ad and reading these two fabulous responses, is the basic truth that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! And what a beautiful truth that is. People come in all different shapes, sizes and colors and daggomit, we’re all individually attracted to different attributes and qualities.
That’s another beauty in life: what I find attractive, you may not get at all and vice versa. To each his own! And now the kicker: the most important part is that we recognize that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and then acknowledge our own individual beauty. And when I say that, I mean it… our own INDIVIDUAL, God-given, unique beauty. Not the society-imposed idea of beauty, but the beauty we know that we possess not only on the inside but on the outside, too. It’s not going to do us a bit of good to focus on the things we would change if we could and then punish ourselves over it. We should instead celebrate our own unique beauty and recognize it! No racist or judgmental attitudes allowed.
Truly think about what your positives and celebrate those lovely qualities. Ask someone you love to tell you the things they adore about you, what catches their eye, what stands out and makes you beautiful to them. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised and most likely gain a new outlook on yourself.
Before bringing this blog entry to a close, I Googled images for “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.” WOW. When I came across this quote by Salma Hayek I had another tear-jerker moment…
“People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I saw that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.”
How powerful is that?! You are the beholder! Talk about a “BOOM Yow” moment!!
There you have it. Liberate yourself, people, and realize that YOU are the beholder!!! Some days it will be harder than others, but never lose sight of recognizing what you find beautiful in you. Allow your own unique beauty to bring you self confidence and you will radiate such loveliness. Be the beholder of your own beauty!