Seeing Yourself As Others Do


April 18, 2013 by Dragonfly Diva

dove dove

Yesterday morning while catching up with friends on Facebook I came across a post of a video that seems to be making the rounds.  Real Beauty Sketches shows a forensic artist making two sketches of the same woman – one from her own description of herself and one based upon the description given by another person after meeting and spending time with the woman.  I watched the video and I’ll admit I cried.  I love Dove’s marketing campaign!  I, like a lot of women, I’m sure identified with the point of the video – we see ourselves very differently than others do. We can be negative, even mildly so, few of us see the true beauty we each posses.  The way the women described themselves contrasted with the adjectives used by others was telling, but it was the looks on their faces when shown the two sketches side by side, that did me in.  The amazement at the differences between the two pictures and the joy on the one woman’s face as she looked at the sketch which was based upon another person’s description, it was so genuine.

I’m guilty of not liking how I look and talking negative about myself, even if it’s just referencing the fact that I’m trying to be more healthy and lose weight.  Its something that my husband just hates.  Even when I was young and much thinner I didn’t like the way I looked.  Where did I get that?  I was never told that I was not pretty or beautiful, in fact those in my life told me the opposite.  I was comfortable enough with how I looked when I was younger, taking dancing lessons and getting up on stage during recitals and stage plays; but, if someone had asked me I would have maybe said I was pretty, and then probably would have listed the things I wanted to change…just like I do now.

Why are we as women generally like this?  This attitude, this self-critiquing perspective, is something that is handed down from generation to generation in a way, and what can we do to stop it?  How do we reinforce the beauty in us all?  How do we instill a sense of the diversity of beauty that each person’s life dance takes?  Some dances are lean and others lush and curvy.  Does that make one dance better, or prettier or more correct and desirable to others?  In essence are we bullying ourselves when we focus on the parts we wish to change?  And why must the outside be seen as the true measure of beauty.  What about the inside?  The personality, the emotions, the intellect?  And the actions one takes during the dance?

As I write this though I am beginning to think the bigger problem is that as a species we have come to an evolutionary point – at least here in the US – where everything, and I mean EVERYTHING must be judged.  That is the offending word – judged.  Judged as good, bad, better, best, correct, incorrect, beautiful or ugly.  And why?  Why?  WHY?  Why must we judge one another.  It’s all about positioning.  I’m better than you, but less than someone else.  Is that necessary?  I, personally, think not.  I think we are each carrying out our own path through life, dancing when we can and placing one foot in front of one another when we can’t to move forward, because lets face it time doesn’t stand still.

It is the JOURNEY and the picture that makes us beautiful, not our eyes, or our hair, our curves or our smile.  We are beautiful from the inside out, so we need to stop caring how those that judge see us, and we need to start seeing in ourselves what others see in us, the beauty, the strength, the things that make us unique and valuable.  That is where the real beauty in women lies.


8 thoughts on “Seeing Yourself As Others Do

  1. mimmie1969 says:

    I too saw the video from Dove. Amazing! Made me think too about how we view our appearances. You’re right, it’s the beauty inside that counts the most. If we are beautiful on the inside, it’ll show on the outside.

  2. Outer beauty fades over time while inner beauty lasts for a lifetime. What a person holds in their heart is where the real beauty lies. Great post! 🙂

  3. […] Seeing Yourself As Others Do ( […]

  4. My husband shared that same video with me because he believes I am overly self-critical and I would have to say he is correct on that point! I was so amazed at how differently we describe ourselves and when I sat down and thought about what I would say to the artist and then asked my husband to do the same I was again amazed at the difference. What an amazing campaign to help women see the true beauty within us all!

    • Hmmm, you know I didn’t even think to share the video with my husband and have the conversation you did with yours. I was too busy trying to hide the fact that it made me cry. Now why the heck didn’t I want anyone to know how much the video moved me?

      • You probably didn’t want anyone to know how much it moved you for the same reason I tried not to show how much it moved me, we don’t want to be thought of as over emotional females that cry at the drop of the hat…which I am not, but lets face, viewing how woman think they look by tearing themselves down is a very emotional thing!

        To me it was very humbling to see how my husband described me versus what I described and although we didn’t have a artist to make the picture, I knew early on that an actual picture would have made me cry. I described someone that needed so much changed and he described someone that he thought was quite perfect with little imperfections that he finds quite beautiful because he is seeing something I do not.

  5. […] Seeing Yourself As Others Do ( […]

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