A video recently released from the Dove company highlights a sensitive issue regarding poor self-image that is prevalent among women. The video features a forensic artist’s sketches of women he has never seen. The artist creates two sketches of the same woman. The first image is composed based on a women describing herself and the second image is composed based on a description from a stranger. The images highlight the self-critical nature of women. In every case, the women, who are all naturally beautiful, appear less beautiful when sketched based on self-analysis and more beautiful when sketched based on a strangers point of view.
The video details one of the ways in which women reveal themselves to be very poor hidden mentors. Even though self-depreciation is directed inwards, its damaging effects are very much projected outwards. As a hidden mentors, which I have explained we all are in another post, how we treat and see ourselves tells others how we feel they should treat and see themselves. If we nit pick every insignificant quirk and portray it as a flaw rather than the unique feature that it is, we tell our grand-daughters, daughters, nieces and young friends that they must do the same. We teach them to magnify their features into flaws rather than celebrate their unique attributes. We teach them to have low self-esteem.
The women depicted in the video candidly offer descriptions of themselves with no intention of being critical. The do not even realize the tone of their negative descriptions until comparing the sketch that they have dictated to that of a stranger. It is this negative tone, that erodes self-esteem. It is a quiet inner voice, that incessantly criticizes non-existent flaws into reality. In extreme cases, the voice becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Hopefully this video will give us all cause for self-reflection and we can extend a bit more self-love. Please learn to love your mirrored reflection.