There's a scene in Mean Girls where the plastics gather in front of a mirror and pick at their appearances. "My nailbeds suck." "My pores are huge." "...I have really bad breath in the morning?" each girl says in rotation, despite her nearly perfect hourglass figure, flawless skin, and dramatic features.
But sadly, this scene - straight out of a Tina Fey movie - recurs more frequently in real life among young women than we choose to accept. A strand of hair out place, abnormally large cheeks, thin lips, a pouch after a big lunch - the latter which I am guilty of noting just ten minutes ago to a colleague. The list continues when it comes to scrutinizing and agonizing over our physical appearances. At what point can we stop picking and start perceiving ourselves in a healthy manner?
The truth is I believe that for most women (including myself), this will be a lifelong battle. But the challenge is presented with this remarkable, new beauty ad from Dove that reveals just how critical women are when it comes to our personal appearances.
The beauty company hired a forensic artist to sketch a group of women based on their own descriptions of themselves. He then sketched a separate picture of each woman based on a stranger's description. The sheer disparity between how each woman described herself and the way a stranger described the subject was vastly different - and a startling reminder of how we need to learn to embrace ourselves, right now.
One subject notes after seeing the discrepancies between her self-description and the alternate portrait, "It's troubling. I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices in the friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children, It impacts everything. It couldn't be more critical to your happiness."