Drawing Ourselves Ugly
We’re our own worst critics. Nothing we haven’t heard before. But the newest ad campaign by Dove aims to shed light on how women, specifically, beat themselves up. The video features a handful of women describing themselves to a forensic sketch artist. The images are then compared side by side to sketches he drew based on descriptions of the women by complete strangers. The pseudo-experiment proves to be eye-opening: the self-described sketches are often far less attractive, visual affirmations of their own self-deprecation. HelloGiggles blogger Mary Traina says that this isn’t an issue unique to just women, but acknowledges that the campaign video shed light on a problem that she, like many of us, face.
Those side-by-side sketches are now burned into my brain. They visually sum up a problem I previously had trouble putting my finger on. Verbally, I’ve painted that haggard sketch of myself many times; in job interviews, over coffee, first dates, that time I repeatedly told a cashier, “I know, I’m the worst” because I wanted him to wait 15 extra seconds for me to pay with exact change. I’m reasonably certain I’m not the worst, so why am I trying to convince someone otherwise?
There’s no doubt that insecurities can render us incapable of seeing ourselves in an honest light, especially when we’re worried about others pointing out our flaws first. Traina calls on all readers (regardless of gender) to take away Dove’s message and remind themselves that “it’s human nature for people to want to see the best in you.”