But Why Do I Need to be Beautiful? My Response to “Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches”

This video is spreading like wildfire around the internet. An FBI artist draws two pictures of women- one based off of their own description, and one based off of the description of another woman, one they just met.

The pictures drawn based off of the description of the newly met woman were slightly more attractive than those drawn based off of the women’s own descriptions.

We are supposed to conclude that we must be more beautiful than we think we are. But why should this matter?

Let me point out that all of the women in this video are attractive. They are not all young and most are wearing minimal make-up, but they all have proportionate faces without any noticeable abnormality and none of them are overweight or gaunt looking.

So what is the message really? “All women within one standard deviation of the ideal are beautiful. If you’re outside of that, we just can’t risk running an ad with you in your white underwear.”

But my real issue with the campaign is this: It is teaching us that if we feel physically beautiful we should feel good about ourselves and be happy. It’s what other people think of your facial features that matters.

Instead of empowering women to find joy and confidence in things that are reasonably within their control (being kind, being hardworking, being ambitious), it inspires women to find fulfillment in being “more beautiful than you realize”.

The sentiment that looks are what matters is ringing loud and clear in this little Panda’s ears: “Beauty reigns. The way you look is really what matters. And if we can be the ones to make you feel beautiful, all the more money for us.”

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3 thoughts on “But Why Do I Need to be Beautiful? My Response to “Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches”

  1. kayfil says:

    I agree with the points you make, but what made me like the video despite this is that it wasn’t really physical features that made the people more beautiful – they pointed out that the face described by the other person looked happier than the one they described, etc. So the message I took away from it was that we are more beautiful to other people than to ourselves because we look at ourselves with pessimism, whereas others see the good things in us that we might overlook ourselves – not just regarding physical attributes, although that is what is most obviously shown in the video.

    • I agree. We have to give Dove some credit for trying. They do sell beauty products after all. Our culture places too much emphasis on how we look. what Dove has done is not quite enough in fighting this, but it is a step in the right direction.

  2. healthiestbeauty says:

    Reblogged this on The healthiest beauty.

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