Beautiful is a powerful 9-letter word. It’s powerful because it means so much, to so many. All around the world, women have had a love/hate relationship with it. What’s amazing about women is that they can see beauty in almost everyone and everything around them. However, I recently was reminded of the absurd reality that when it comes to describing themselves, most woman would not choose this particular word in a million years – 96% of them to be exact. According to a new global survey, 96% of women today would consider themselves as just…plain…average.
Dove hopes to help change all that.
Dove’s #ChooseBeautiful campaign encourages women to feel beautiful every single day. It presents being beautiful as a state-of-mind, rather than a form of validation we can only receive from others. Essentially, it encourages them to acknowledge their own self-worth and self-value, and reminds women that they have the power within themselves to be and feel beautiful.
A short time ago, I was lucky enough to be invited by Dove Indonesia to attend an event that celebrated this amazing campaign. During the event, the audience watched a short video made by Dove that centered around a social experiment (click here to watch). In it, various women around the globe are asked to either enter through a ‘beautiful’ door, or an ‘average’ door. It’s a simple question, really – how do you perceive yourself, beautiful or average?
It was fascinating to see these women make real-life decisions solely based on how they viewed themselves. Confronted with this, a dominant portion chose the average door, and had no hesitation when doing so. Others weren’t so sure and pondered for a few moments. Some were stuck in the middle, and some decided it was all too much and didn’t go through either all together. Their raw testimonials about their struggle with self-esteem and self perception was heart-breaking and truthfully difficult to watch. However, towards the end, the message was clear: it’s a choice you must make. A choice you’ve always had and always will have. The moment you believe it’s true, is the moment it becomes real.
If only more women knew it was that simple. Through this campaign, Dove hopes that if given the choice, every woman chooses to walk through the ‘beautiful’ door, and with confidence at that.
Define beautiful? You’d have better luck trying to find a grain of sand in a haystack. Beauty goes far beyond physical appearance, something society and the media have not done the best job at conveying. The kind of beautiful we’re discussing here, is skin-deep. The kind you can’t see on any physical exterior.
It’s about accepting yourself as you are, flaws and all. But let’s be real – accepting your flaws and imperfections is not an easy task. As women, we’ve consciously and unconsciously trained ourselves to set standards of perfection that are unrealistic and often impossible to acheive. It’s important that we teach ourselves that beautiful does not equal to perfection. This is crucial. Those stretch marks, the acne scars that won’t disappear, the pregnancy weight that stubbornly have not come off…the list goes on. The key is to accept those tiny cracks of insecurities, both physical and non-physical, and gradually learn to embrace them. Embracing oneself, hence, is the key to loving oneself. And only then can one consider oneself as beautiful.
Speakers at the event, which included psychologist Efnie Indrianie, film producer Sheila Timothy, and marketing director of skin cleansing and body care at Unilever Indonesia Eva Arisuci Rudjito, gave their two cents about what the campaign meant to them. Their meaningful words affirmed how important this message is.
As a young woman who is extremely passionate about women empowerment, this campaign aligns with my opinions that every woman is a gift from God, a unique creation, beautiful and powerful in her own way. In fact, if I had one wish, it would be to have every single little girl grow up knowing and believing this. It’s imperative to feel confident about who we are and rid the guilt of feeling beautiful in order to make the best life choices for ourselves. So for all the little girls and women of the world; remember to always #ChooseBeautiful.