University of Wisconsin–Madison

DOVE REAL BEAUTY SKETCHES

Often as women, we find ourselves focusing on our insecurities and negative aspects of our body image. In this specific video, a forensic artist, Gil Zamora, began to illustrate pictures of women describing their own facial features. He asked them many questions about their face, such as what their jaw, hair, eyes, and cheeks looked like. When the sketch was complete, the women were introduced to a complete stranger and began to have a conversation with them. After some time, the stranger was taken to where Zamora was sketching. He then asked those same questions to the stranger, describing the facial features of the women they met. When both drawings of the women were complete, they were compared alongside one another.

Here, we found that the women who described their own facial features, described them in a more negative way compared to the strangers’ descriptions. They focused more on their flaws and the features they disliked, rather than the things that they find beautiful about themselves. These women claimed they had a “fat, rounded face”, “more freckles”, or “bigger forehead.” None of the women seemed confident or proud of the way they looked. The strangers had a different view of these women. They described the facial features of the women in a more positive way. When mentioning the women, the strangers complimented their eyes, nose, and chin. They admired the features that women complained about having.

In Child’s Mary French and Susan Easton, the narrator states “Yet the only difference between Mary French and Susan Easton is, that the black color could be rubbed off from Mary’s skin, while from Susan’s it could not (Child, p-17)”. This was a prevalent in this time for many colored women. Their appearance made them feel less important compared to the white women. This is similar to women in the video comparing themselves to the standards society has set. Comparatively, Karen Coats, in her essay on Identity, claims that “People draw their identifications, and hence craft their identities, from a range of models, often taking the values of the dominant culture as an important component of their identity structure, even when culture could be viewed as historically or culturally oppressive. (Coats, p-111)”. Women in today’s society are often found comparing themselves to women in the media. But what many women don’t always realize is that there is always going to be somebody that is taller, that has whiter teeth, that is skinnier, that has clearer skin, and so on. This video is meant to show us women that we are more beautiful than we think.  A girl at the end of the video says, “We spend a lot of time as women analyzing and trying to fix the things that aren’t quite right, and should spend more time appreciating the things we do like.” Rather than fixing things that make us the special person that we are, we should be more appreciative of our differences.

7 thoughts on “DOVE REAL BEAUTY SKETCHES”

  1. Thank you for sharing this! You make a good point that women always tend to compare themselves to physical beauty ideals presented in popular media. It’s sad that society has groomed us to place so much value on our outward appearance. Women spend hours shopping, preparing ourselves with clothes, makeup, hair processes to reach an unattainable goal (simply because it’s not you). If we put all these hours towards something more productive like learning a new skill or reading, we’d get smarter and more confident. Suggestion: Everyone please quit your social media. It’s warping your perception of yourself, wasting time and energy, and giving you self esteem issues. No one needs Victoria’s Secret angels passively selling you hairspray in your morning newsfeed. It’s distracting. We’re ruining ourselves with Instagram…

    1. I think the concept of Instagram is interesting. If used responsibly, it can promote positive images and people can promote important causes, but I agree it can impact us negatively mentally as well. I have seen so many people post pictures who then delete them after an hour if they don’t get as many “likes” as they want. I think that idea is toxic, and coincides with the constant pressure of women to maintain themselves to societies expectations, as if “likes” can validate them.

  2. Having previously seen this video, it was encouraging to watch it again and take in the message again. I believe that the culmination of how we perceive beauty standards can be analyzed through the quote in the post, “Yet the only difference between Mary French and Susan Easton is, that the black color could be rubbed off from Mary’s skin, while from Susan’s it could not (Child, p-17)”. While this is quote is rather upsetting, I believe that society should be encouraging girls and women to embrace this differences, rather than expect perfection, as it does now.

  3. I absolutely love all of the Dove beauty videos. They really try to show women that they are beautiful and are attempting to build up girl’s and women’s confidence in a society that constantly compares women to unrealistic expectations of beauty.

  4. I had never seen this video before so watching it was very eye-opening. It really emphasizes how different the way we perceive ourselves is drastically different than the ways others do. We are constantly comparing ourselves to our peers and thinking that they are more beautiful than us. This leads us to try to obtain a certain image that is not possible. We need to learn that each of us are beautiful in our own way and to stop worrying so much on our outward appearance and instead concentrate more on the way we act towards others.

  5. I loved watching this. So many girls struggle with their own beauty and finding their own identities in a world so dominated by standards set by others. Most people don’t see others they way they see themselves and I think this was so important in reminding women to see themselves with the same kindness and open hearts in which they view others.

  6. Wow I fell in love with this video! It rings so true, especially when I hear my beautiful friends speak negatively about their appearance. It really shows how much of an affect popular images in media have on our self esteem and our perception of ourselves. It really makes these physical flaws that we think are such big deals seem very trivial.

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