On natural beauty..
“It impacts the friends we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children — it impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to our happiness.”
That’s a pretty taunting thought…to think that the only way to achieve heightened success is to look a particular way. For one, success is relative. What it means to me may not have the same meaning for you. Secondly, if we purely rely on physical attributes to get what we want in life, then maybe beauty isn’t just physical, but largely mental stimulation – given that the desire to be perfect drives our behavior. In terms of society’s standards, there is without a doubt underlying pressure for women to have the brightest eyes, the prettiest face a hair, the sexiest body, etc..
Dove recently conducted a social experiment in which Gil Zamora, a 26-year veteran of the Santa Fe Police Department and forensic artist, sketched a group of seven women to get a better idea of how they view themselves.
The first part of the experiment was to sketch one woman at a time, without ever seeing what they look like. Zamora would ask them questions about their own facial aesthetics, revealing what they think their most prominent, favorite and disliked features are. Based on these descriptions, Zamora created a sketch of each woman. He then repeated this process but instead asked each of the seven strangers to describe the other women that they had met earlier that morning.
What Zamora found was that the women seemed extremely critical of themselves…even over delicate freckles; alternatively, when they spoke about the other ladies that they had met only briefly, they were more complimentary and even admiring of their features. Zamora held the self-imposed sketches next to the those created by the women viewing one another, and the reactions were pretty consistent: many woman don’t seem to see the beauty that others see in them. Or, maybe they do but just don’t acknowledge how wonderful their natural beauty is.
“We spend a lot of time as women analyzing and trying to fix the things that aren’t quite right…Instead we should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like.”
It’s true, women really are their own worst critics. I know that I am and have been my own for a very long time. But who doesn’t want to be “perfect”, you know? Whatever that is..
Self-love is beautiful. It’s necessary to love inwardly in order to love outwardly. Thank you, Dove, for sharing your message.