You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Dove has this amazing campaign to get us talking about beauty. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. Even if you have, watch it again.

I wish every woman could be a part of this project.

It seems that we see ourselves as our physical beings and what’s being described by others is part physical, part inner beauty. When we’re in conversation, lively conversation with others, this is when our beauty comes out.

One night in my early twenties I went to a bar. I sat by myself and waited for friends, and when they arrived I jumped up, hugged them and engaged in lively, animated conversation. That same night I met a guy I dated for a short while. When we broke up a few months later he told me that he wished I’d stayed the woman he met in the bar, who was confident and full of life, instead of the closed off, uncertain person I’d allowed myself to become. Why do we do this to ourselves.

I have no doubt that guy was not The One for me (no guy was, as I’d come to realize soon enough) and still, I had something important to learn from him. Of course, it took me nearly a decade to really get it.

We spend so much time trying to please others and worry about how others see us. Above is an example of when we ought to be seeing ourselves as others see us. What strikes me about this campaign isn’t the physical differences in the sketches, but the way we see ourselves, based on how others see us.

It’s not that we need to solely pay attention to what others think of us, but when all we can see of ourselves is something negative or critical—my belly/hips/cheeks are too big; my nose is crooked; my lips are too fat/thin; I’m an awful, awful person; the airline charges me extra for the bags under my eyes/chip on my shoulder these days (or whatever negative critiques you shell out about yourself)—maybe it’s time to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes.

The Hard Way: be passive aggressive and try to figure out what someone thinks about you on your own. (Let me know how that goes for you—I haven’t gotten it right yet)

The Simple Way: ask direct questions: What do you like about me? What’s your favorite physical feature about me? What’s your favorite quality about me?

It might seem counter intuitive to ask someone else what they think of you when you’re struggling with what you think of yourself, but I’ve found that people tend to say things we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves. Others tend to see us in ways we don’t have the opportunity to because we’re so much in our heads, we just don’t have the same vantage point to see what they see. And when we’re enlightened, it tends to create a shift within that helps us see ourselves for who’s really in there, and not for the critiques we hold against ourselves.

So I’m going to ask you, readers: How would you describe you? Ask a friend to describe you and see if you come up with the same description. I’d love for you to share your findings in the comments!

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

 

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