Essential viewing: Dove Campaign demonstrates women underestimate their own attractiveness

Dove Real Beauty Campaign

Since 2004, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has continually raised the bar in terms of positive representations of women in advertising. The latest video, which was shared on YouTube on April 14, has already been viewed more than 1.2 million times. It also has a 98.5 percent “thumbs up” rating — and for good reason.

The 3-minute-long video follows the process as seven real women, hidden behind a screen, describe their facial features for a veteran FBI forensic artist.

“We really weren’t sure what was going on,” Kela Cabrales, a 40-year-old teacher who appears in the video, told HuffPost Women. “They asked me to describe myself and use neutral terms and ‘just the facts’ sort of descriptions.”

In the video, one woman said her mother always told her she had a big jaw. Another describes her face at fat and rounder. Only able to work off the descriptions the women provide of themselves, the forensic artist sketches pictures of their faces.

Then, the same artist interviews a stranger who recently spent time getting acquainted with the pictured women. That stranger describes the original women and the completed pictures are placed side-by-side.

In all of the examples shown, the women described themselves as wholly less attractive than they really were.

Dove: More Beautiful Than You Think

While viewing the images, some of the women are brought to tears.

“We spend a lot of time as women analyzing and critiquing the things that aren’t quite right,” one of the women said after being taken aback by the contrasting pictures.

Shelly Dove Real Beauty

“I should be more grateful to my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and the friends that we make, the jobs we apply for and the way we treat our children. It impacts everything. It couldn’t be more impactful to our happiness,” commented another woman.

The question is: What will it take for us to realize our own beauty?

View all of the portraits on Buzzfeed.

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