The body image video every woman should watch

This article originally posted at Mashable.com

Dove posted on Monday a three-minute ad on YouTube that teaches a vital lesson about how we view ourselves compared to how others see us. Trust us, it's worth your time.

A former forensic artist for the San Jose police department met a series of women and asked each to describe the way they look. He had no way of seeing them behind a curtain. He prompted them to detail everything: hair length, facial structure, their most prominent features. He then sketched each participant from their self-description.

Each woman was asked before the study to get to know one of the other participants. The forensic artist then prompted each woman to describe the other's face.

At the end of the video, the artist reveals two sketches — one from the participant itself, one from their partner. The differences are remarkable.

We won't ruin the effect for you, but we'll leave you with this comment from Dove posted below the video:

"Women are their own worst beauty critics," Dove says. "Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful ... we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see."

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

6 comments

  • Just remember that the Dove brand is owned by Unilever, who also own Lynx. Feel free to google Lynx adds and decide for yourself if they are interested in how women view themselves in any other way than how best to make people personally identify with a product they wish to market.

    Commenter
    Steve
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 17, 2013, 10:11AM
    • +1 Steve. I agree. This is the sort of advertising campaign that uses the awareness and backlash against the find fault / buy our product messages that we are becoming accustomed to, to get to other groups of consumers This appeals to the growing number of people who the other campaigns can't infiltrate. Having said that, it's a much better message to have out there in society... Heed the message, just don't let it dictate your spending habits because you think the corporation behind the brand is in some way more socially responsible - they're just trying to sell you their wares.

      Commenter
      Cher
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      April 17, 2013, 1:51PM
  • It ain't just women who see themselves differently to others. Men are by and large exactly the same. Plus there's kids of all ages and how they see themselves etc.

    Good video and a reminder to us all that we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.

    Commenter
    Ayjay
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 17, 2013, 10:34AM
    • You're right, every woman should watch this. It's maddening when the women I know (none particularly vain) simply don't get how beautiful they are and constantly put themselves down. I used to think they would criticise themselves as a way of fishing for compliments but realised that no, that is in fact how they see themselves. I also realised long ago that it doesn't matter at all how I or anyone else sees them, the only thing that matters is what they see when they look in the mirror. A great way to get the point across.

      Commenter
      Harvey K-Tel
      Date and time
      April 17, 2013, 10:47AM
      • Perhaps everyone should watch it. We all see the worst in ourselves too much and not enough of the good.

        Commenter
        Craig
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        April 17, 2013, 1:26PM
        • I think we all need to go back and read what Aunty Germaine wrote for this very site is December 2012: http://www.dailylife.com.au/health-and-fitness/dl-wellbeing/hands-up-if-youre-feeling-any-less-revolting--20121214-2bdrm.html

          As is pointed out in the first comment, it needs to be remembered that Dove is commercial entity (owned by Unilever who also own the ever classy Lynx brand) and what they're doing is yet another spin on playing with women's insecurities. It's all about money at the end of the day.

          Okay, Dove has definitely come up with a novel way to market themselves and it is refreshing to see "real' women in their ads but for me it smacks of hypocrisy. They're still trying to sell products and those products are telling us we're not good enough as we are - that we must have shiny, silky hair and clear, beautiful skin. Dove are still playing on women's insecurities just in a much more subtle way.

          Commenter
          lauren
          Date and time
          April 17, 2013, 3:33PM
          Comments are now closed