Dove Real Beauty Sketches : The Like and Dislike



The Dove Real Beauty Sketches video on YouTube has received some serious traction and debate this week. As I type it has over 7 million views, over 49,000 “Likes” and a little over 800 “Dislikes” AKA from the west coast I can hear the bottles of east coast Dom Perignon being popped in the Dove Marketing Department. The premise of the Dove Beauty Sketches video is a forensic artist who asks women to describe themselves aesthetically – from their descriptions he draws a sketch of their face. Then someone meets this woman – the person describes the woman to the forensic artists. What do you know; people describe the woman as more “attractive” than the way the woman originally described herself.  

I will tell you what I like about this video. I like the amount of times people have emailed, facebooked and texted this video to me. I am truly flattered that I am thought of when it comes to discussions of societal beauty, philosophy and the media. I am honored to be thought of in such a positive light. Thank you! I dig you and will hug you for 20 seconds longer than appropriate the next time I see you! Watch out!

I also like that Dove who is a major manufacturer of beauty products has taken a stance to discuss the perception of beauty in their advertising. This video shows that “Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.” What one person calls a “bony chin” is someone else’s “gorgeous bone structure.” The verdict on beauty is definitely still out. Thank you Dove for reminding us all of that. 

What I dislike AKA the reason you clicked on this post, is that this video is communicating, “Women have a hard time seeing themselves accurately. If women saw how attractive they are they would be much happier. Therefore you should try to see yourself as PHYSICALLY ATRRACTIVE.” Here is where I plant my face into the palm of my hand and say, “So close Dove, so close.”

Ya see, Dove and I are on the same team. We want people to know they are beautiful, to be confident and have sound mental health. We know how rough life can be when a person doesn’t know they are beautiful (i.e. eating disorders, low self-esteem, anxiety, yada, yada, brown banana) but our game plans on this team are completely different and this is where we start blogging about each other.

Here’s why, Dove's message communicates the importance of feeling beautiful in your physcial aesthetic. On the flip I spend my time and energy communicating that attention needs to be taken AWAY from the physical aesthetic and instead our value needs to be placed on our actions; what we can DO with our body parts not what they LOOK like. If I sat down and described myself to the forensic artist I would say, “I’m a babe! I have big green eyes that allow me to see so much into people’s pain and struggle that it makes me cry.  I have dark brown hair that is sometimes straight, but naturally curly – the way I wear it depends on my variety of mood’s that benefit and hinder me relationally, physically and emotionally. Sometimes there are bags under my eyes from so much work and sometimes I am rested from spending time with strong and courageous people who inspire me and make me laugh until my cheeks hurt. Some days my skin is breaking out from stress and sometimes I am glowing from the realization that I am living an incredible life that once upon a time I did not want to live. Mostly I look like a survivor, a risk taker, a woman of faith, compassion with so much to say that it’s hard to think straight so I end up cussing and pissing off my mom – please draw that - that’s what I look like.”

I bet the forensic artist would pull back the sheet between and say, “Who are you and who let you in here?” And then I would say, “I represent Rewrite Beautiful, an organization and a revolution. We creatively change how girls see beauty in themselves for eating disorder prevention through education. We say that BEAUTY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WAY THAT YOU LOOK. BEAUTY HAS TO DO WITH THE WAY THAT YOU ACT. Think about it, sure you see a girl or a guy that you’re attracted to. You have a conversation, you go on a couple dates, whether or not that person becomes your boyfriend, girlfriend or best friend has very little to do with what they look like. Ya know what has 95% to with it? The way that person ACTS. I know for myself that when I start talking to a new person I start gathering information,

  • Is this person creative? Can they teach me something new?  
  • Is this person kind? Can they think outside of themselves with empathy for others?
  • Is this person strong? Do they mean what they say and say what they mean?

I want creative, kind and strong people around me. What they look has very little to do with whether or not that person gets to be a part of my life.”

I would also say, “BTW: Sometimes people can’t control the way they see beauty. Sometimes people have mental disorder like an eating disorder which prevents them from seeing themselves accurately. Yes, 1 in 4 girls have a mental illness called an eating disorder that gets in the way of them seeing reality. That person will need a team of medical doctors, counseling and community support in order to restore their health. Us telling them that they are ‘actually really pretty’ will not fix the problem.”

I applaud Dove for their efforts to talk about society’s perception of beauty. This is a mental and social issue which we all need to talk about. Thank you Dove for making this video and for igniting these conversations. Next time you go to make a video hit me up, I have a vision for a video that communicates all of the creative, kind and strong things women can do with their able and well moisturized body parts. I can be reached at and take meetings on Thursdays.

What was your reaction to the Dove Beauty Sketches?

 Was it a hit or a miss?

Chit chat, thats where its at!


Lauren Ann's picture
Although I know real beauty has nothing to do with our looks, this video really hit home for me. I have spent countless hours, over the past nearly 20 years, listening to friends, girls and women talk about how lacking in physical beauty they are, watching them picking at tiny flaws until that is all that they can see. For me, to be looking at these women, these lovely and wonderful girls all I could ever think was, "don't you see, can't you see how beautiful you are?". I too am guilty of not seeing my own beauty, so having this exact interaction shown through the Dove video really brought up a lot of emotion. I agree that they were so close, but missed the over all more important point that Rewrite Beautiful is trying to make. Even so, I can honestly say that watching these women see themselves the way that others do brought a tear to my eye.
Irvina's picture
I'm glad to hear you got so much out of it :)
Leonard's picture
You ought to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality sites online. I'm going to highly recommend this blog!


Add new comment