“I kind of have a fat, rounder face.”
“The older I’ve gotten, the more freckles I’ve gotten.”
“I would say I have a pretty big forehead.”
“My mom told me I had a big jaw.”
Women, behind a white curtain, describe themselves to a police department forensic artist. He doesn’t see what any of them look like.
“We’ll begin,” says artist Gil Zamora. “Tell me about your chin.”
“I guess I haven’t really compared it to anyone else’s, but especially when I smile I just feel like it protrudes a little bit,” Olivia says.
One woman after another describes her own features in unflattering ways.
“I always thought people were so cute when they had the little cheeks that were rosy, but mine are pretty plain,” another says. “I’m starting to already get little crow’s feet.”
The women are part of a new campaign from Dove.
The soap and personal care brand owned by Unilever started an effort in 2006 to improve the self-esteem of women. They want us to see that beauty is more than skin deep, and of course we should buy their products to take care of our skin.
Their latest ad is called Real Beauty Sketches.
After women described themselves for the sketch artist they left the room. They were also asked to get to know one of the other women participating in the experiment.
Next, each woman highlighted the distinct features and attributes of another woman’s face to the artist.
The dramatic moment is a grand reveal as Zamora shows both sketches to the subjects.
The first image shows the woman based on her own description; the second is the picture as another female characterized her.
The differences are remarkable.
“So this is your self-described image and then somebody else described you in this sketch,” he says.
“It’s very strange,” says a woman who looks at the image she guided the artist into creating. “She looks closed off and fatter. She just looks kind of shut down. She looks sadder too. The second one looks more open, friendly and happy.”
All the women agreed the second image was more attractive.
One lady hesitated and stumbled on the word “beautiful” as she looked at an image of herself as others see her.
Dove’s tagline on the video – which has gotten more than seven million views since it was posted Sunday – is: “You are more beautiful than you think.”
That was obvious to all the women who looked at their sketches side by side.
“We spend a lot of time as women analyzing and trying to fix the things that aren’t quite right. We should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like,” a young lady involved in the social experiment concludes.
Dove says what every woman knows – we are our own worst critics.
Only four percent of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, according to Dove’s research.
The results are touching to watch as the women sigh, study the pictures, and tear up glancing at their sketched faces.
“Do you think you’re more beautiful than you say?” the forensic artist asks Florence.
Her one word answer, repeated twice, is what many women will continue to believe despite Dove’s best efforts.
“Yeah,” she says almost sounding confident.
“Yeah,” she says again in a softer, unsure voice.
That means no.
After all that, many of us will still not think we’re beautiful.
Guys on the other hand, are captured in this fun parody video, describing themselves as looking like George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
By LINDA THOMAS