How we see ourselves

Watch how women describe themselves to FBI trained sketch artist Gil Zamora, and then watch how others describe them. And it’s true – we need to be kinder to ourselves. How we see ourselves may not necessarily be how others perceive us, and it’s definitely something to think about.

Also, a personal note: you’re better off not reading the comments on the website and on YouTube. There’s just a whole bunch of negative (and not to mention unproductive) comments out there, along with people who can’t seem to enjoy the experiment for what it is. Here’s my thought process: if it’s any other person or company (for example, a small indie film company) who’s making this video instead of Dove, they’re going to get accolades and pats on the backs. People need to calm the heck down and stop blaming corporations for the choices that we’ve made as a consumer and as a society.


  illustration, inspiration, sketches

9 thoughts on “How we see ourselves

  1. Thank your sharing this. It makes my day and changes my thinking. Hooray for Dove. And hooray for your admonition NOT to look at website comments. No getting undies in a bundle over stupid stuff.

  2. I actually don’t think it is stupid to wonder about if this is actually something genuinely helpful to women or not. I am afraid I don’t think it is, it is still concentrating on beauty as being essential. There is interesting aspects to it but I don’t find it genuine. I don’t mind that you don’t want to read the comments, you have every right to not do that (hell we’d all go mad if we always read the comments) but it seems a bit unfair to suggest that people’s arguments don’t go further than ‘mean company’ or that not finding this positive means you need to ‘calm down’. I am perfectly calm I just don’t like it. That’s allowed, right?

    • Hi Pippa!
      Of course it’s perfectly fine to not like the video (and that bit about needing to calm down doesn’t apply to you!) I don’t mean that it’s stupid to think about whether it’s genuinely helpful to women or not – there are great thought-provoking conversations in there, but it’s outweighed by the ones that are unproductive, and ultimately biased – a double standard if you will. It’s not just the ones on the website, the YouTube comments are filled with them as well.

  3. I saw this video and actually thought it compelling no matter who is sponsoring it. There are so many aspects/psychological components to beauty, self-love, kindness to ourselves and others, and most especially this fictionalized sense of the ideal beauty. I’m a little discouraged by how often we women ourselves promote this fictional beauty. All you have to do is look at pinterest and see how many pins are of tall, thin, kittenish, long-haired blondes/brunettes – all soft focus and back lit. Women who “look” like they wake up without a care in the world except looking beautiful in their glam camp setting, wearing their boyfriends button down shirt or something equally Okay, I’ll stop now… lest it seem I’m just jealous. ; )

    • Hi Jacqueline!
      I love how you mention those women on Pinterest who look “kittenish”! I personally feel the same way – in fact when I read your comment I thought of exactly the same type of women, and I could imagine one quite easily. Having worked in a magazine before, I knew all about photoshopping, and how good makeup and lighting creates a whole different persona, one that’s for the camera. The problem is do others know this, and are they beating themselves up for not attaining a level of beauty that even the models themselves cannot attain on their own?

  4. I found this incredibly powerful. For me it is not about what we actually look like in cultural terms of what is “beautiful”. It is about how we feel about ourselves. Beauty comes from within and if we see ourselves as the magnificent beings that we really are, we project that beauty out into the world. The video reminds me that I AM beautiful, but I have yet to fully realise that. I need to learn to love myself more. Thank you Amy for yet another inspiring post.

  5. This moved me deeply. I hate seeing pictures of myself, I see all my “flaws” even though friends tell me how lovely my smile is, how my face lights up, etc. It is so sad that so many of us mentally uglify ourselves. This is not about cultural ideas of beauty, it is about our own senses of self and how it affects all of our interactions.

    • Chris, I know what you mean. There was a time when I was battling with cystic acne during my teens that I couldn’t stand looking into a mirror. And I didn’t look into one (especially one that framed just my face) for a couple of years. The good thing that came out of it was I knew who my real friends were, and I got to know people who didn’t judge me for my looks. I’m better now, but I’m not sure I would be able to snap out of it if I still had it. I’m not sure about people who have acne versus those who are just unhappy with their looks, but to me acne was a sort of debilitating disease that affected my face, where prior to that I was fine. I suppose acne goes away for most, but for those who are unhappy with their looks, will it ever go away?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *