Dove are at it again with their newest inspiration-via-advertising campaign, daring women to not only acknowledge their inner and outer beauty to themselves, but this time, to hold their heads high and proclaim it to the world!
Imagine yourself walking through the doors of your favourite shopping mall – only today things are a little different. There are two entrances – one marked ‘beautiful’ and one marked ‘average.’ Which one would you choose?
I’m going to hedge my bets and say, that even the most confident amongst us might falter in the face of public scrutiny – “Will I seem arrogant or up-myself if I walk through the door marked beautiful?” I have no qualms about telling you that that exactly phrase was the first to go through my own mind.
Having birthed three children, I’m no stranger to the impact and toll that pregnancy and childbirth take on a woman’s body, and the follow-on effect that can also have on self-esteem and negative body issues. Do I respect and cherish what my body has achieved? Without a doubt. Can I acknowledge my body-beauty to myself? Well, it depends on whether you catch me on a good day or a bad day, whether I’ve indulged in a wedge of chocolate cake after dinner or not, or even at what stage I am at in my monthly cycle. Sheesh! I woman has hormones, and they can wreak havoc with both your body and your mind, right ladies?
If you were heading straight towards the door marked beautiful – I salute you. There is nothing so attractive as a woman who knows her worth.
I’m just not sure that the majority would have chosen that door without faltering a little – wondering how her own judgement might be judged by those around her and construed into something negative about her character.
OMG! I’m surprised she could even get through the door marked ‘beautiful with that gigantic head of hers!!!
Now, let’s set the scene a little differently.
Imagine you are about to walk through one of those doors. But this time, you are not alone. Beside you, holding your hand, watching every move you make, and learning from your choices is your daughter, or your niece or some other precious young girl in your life.
It is up to you to set the standard of self-worth. What you choose for yourself also sends a message, albeit silently, to that beautiful, impressionable little girl at your side.
Would you choose a different door?
A recent survey in which Dove interviewed 6,400 women between the ages of 18 and 64 in 20 country around the world, found that 96% of women do not choose the word ‘beautiful to describe how they look, although 80% can see something beautiful in themselves. I don’t find this statistic surprisingly – but whether we are hardwired to be more humble, or the products of a society that believes that women should be far more modest about their talents and their beauty is perhaps a debate for another day.
“Women make thousands of choices each day – related to their careers, their families, and lets not forget themselves,” Dove said in a statement. “Feeling beautiful is one of those choices that women should feel empowered to make for themselves, every day.”
If #ChoosingBeautiful is empowering for us – just imagine what the knock-on effect can have for our children. Let’s not limit this lesson to our daughters. We want them to love and value themselves and their bodies – but we also want our sons to grow up to honour and respect their wives, sisters, mothers and friends.
We may not have to make the choice to walk through either one of these doors in such a public space – but we can do our best to teach them this lesson in our own homes, and in our own lives.
Will you #choosebeautiful ?