It is said
of the beholder
For years now, Dove has admirably taken on socialized perceptions of beauty with poignant, touching and provocative campaigns such as this.
Forensic sketch artist Gil Zamora draws two sketches of a woman from two different descriptions. The first is drawn from a description given by the woman herself. Zamora draws the second sketch from the description given by another woman (or man) who met her earlier that day. The point of the video, of course, is the reveal, the moment when a woman is faced with the juxtaposition of her self-image and how another sees her. Poignant. Moving. Touching.
Kudos to Dove.
That said. There’s a darker side to the provocative; some have also quite admirably cited the campaign’s shortcomings — the subtext that “beauty” is blond, blue-eyed and thin, for example, and the question: “why does beauty continue to be so important for women?” These, also, are important insights, good questions to ask ourselves.
Still, what touches me in this video most deeply are the moments of reveal. I empathize with those women; as I watch their reactions, I look into myself. For the moment at least, I see beyond the negative images so deeply held in my own mirror. It isn’t a mirror at all, but a screen I project an image onto, an image no one else sees. Not just images of my appearance, but images of my self, my essence, my being.
There is a bitter-sweetness in the moment. That sweet moment when I see how beautiful I am. That bitter realization of how routinely I filter my beauty with negativity. The tangle of bitter and sweet washes over the features of these women, while the bitter-sweet emotion of my own parallel recognition washes through my body.