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Monday, January 27, 2014

What Beauty Is

Here we go again. Another Dove campaign for redefining beauty and another video to go viral on every facebook, twitter, and blog page. Yawn, eyeroll, fist raised to air. (If you haven't seen it, you can check it out here. Yep, this is technically a share, although I am not suggesting you watch it. ha!)

I get it. We're all insecure and seeing other people insecure speaks to us deep down in our emotional core. We empathize with them and feel joy when they find something "beautiful" about themselves. "Hey, me too. I might have imperfections, but I am kinda cute, after all."

Yes, but no.

This is an ADVERTISEMENT. Plain and simple. It's been said before and I will say it again. This is a company using savvy advertising techniques so that you will willingly SHARE their message AT NO COST TO THEM. And what do we all think after we watch it? We feel good about ourselves as that little Dove symbol imprints our psyche. Next time we are at the store looking for body wash, we see that same Dove brand and feel good about buying it. It's genius marketing, people.

Problem is, they are selling us the same story that our appearance is our value. It's bull$#!+. What you look like, what your SELFIE looks like and all of the little sticky notes in the world people put on your selfie are not what make you beautiful. Seriously?! Are we still buying into this crap?

I'm not completely ignorant to the idea of physical beauty. I wear makeup, I eat well and do my hair (most days). I spend money on my clothes and take care in my appearance. I appreciate a well-placed compliment and am grateful for my husband's desire for me. I am, after all, human.

But, I have learned in my adult years that the adage I thought of as trite as a young woman is, in fact, true: Beauty does come from within. Because this body I wear is just a covering for my soul, for the person I truly am. I honestly believe this. My thoughts, feelings, intellect, spirituality, emotions, sentiments are what make me beautiful or not.

I think we have all met people who are--on first meeting--not particularly attractive. Then you get to know them and wonder how you ever thought they weren't completely beautiful. They have become one of the most attractive people you know, because of WHO THEY ARE, NOT WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE. The opposite has been true as well.

Roald Dahl said it well:

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” 

This blasted Dove campaign is going to continue to move its way around the internets and people will cry and share. It reminds me of the book, You are Special where the Wemmicks put star stickers on people that are lovely and talented and black dots on those who aren't. You know the story, right? This Dove commercial has people putting sticky notes on PICTURES of people to give them value. It's practically the same story, but the opposite message and we are sharing it. Kinda funny.

I am not opposed to compliments. I love to give them and receive them. But you are not beautiful because of a selfie. Your body is temporary and could fail you and fall apart tomorrow. You are beautiful because of the person you are. Work on that part of your beauty. Speak more kindly, share your love, learn more, study more, read more, help more. That makes you beautiful. 


1 wise comments:

Sue said...

What a wise young woman you are. And Roald Dahl says it all for me.