In 2004 Dove (soap, body wash, etc.) launched a campaign to encourage women to celebrate their own, unique beauty. Where did their sudden warm-hearted motivation come from? A study that revealed a harrowing statistic: “only 2% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful.” In the past 9 years, Dove has worked hard to boost the self-esteem of women worldwide. Their unique methods include:
1) Using normal sized women in their ads, as opposed to a size 0 or 2
2) Producing the short film Evolution (watch it!) which documents the extensive lengths that models go through to look good: hours of hair and makeup and even more hours of photo-shop. This is the standard for girls who wakeup at 7:30am for their 8am class that they stayed up until 2am studying for? I don’t think so.
3) A series of feel-good ads encouraging women to let go of the pressure of looking perfect. Let go of society’s standards of beauty, and embrace beautiful you! Dove wants “to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety.”
Most of these ads are cute. Some are cheesy. But one made me smile and tear up at the same time. It’s called “Camera Shy.” It’s one minute long and there’s no dialogue, but I think it’s brilliant.
So true, right? My dad is a photographer. He always has his camera on him. Always. He says that’s the first sign of a good photographer: they’re always prepared. Let me tell you, he was always prepared. I think I was photographed more than Miley Cyrus as a child. Someone could make a flip book of me growing up. But I loved it! My sisters and I would make up dances or plays and then, after 20 minutes of practice tops, invite our parents to watch our grand performance in the family room. We would even offer them refreshments afterwards. Yes, crackers and water. We were proud of our hard work and we were confidant in our moves. We had on our pink tutus and we felt beautiful.
Everything was so simple back then, right? Those were the good old days (I can’t believe I’m already using that phrase! I promise I’m only 20). If you’re having a down day, I encourage you to take 3 minutes to just transport yourself back to a really joyful and cheery memory from childhood. Remember the sights, sounds, and smells. Picture the expressions on the faces of the people around you and just be there in the moment. Soak it in. Smile. Laugh. And be thankful for such simple and happy times.
Let’s try to get back to those simple times. Forget the standards of society. Let looks fade into the background of the new memories that you make today. One day you will look back on today, and you will not remember what you wore. Perhaps even tomorrow. But, you will remember running on the trail with your friend, going out to eat with your boyfriend, helping out at a soup kitchen, visiting your niece, or surprising your parents with a visit home. So don’t stress about your dress because, in the end, it really doesn’t matter. Live and love.