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The Dove ‘Real beauty sketches’ ad

It’s making the rounds all over Facebook, YouTube, even right here on KTAR.com.

It’s the Dove Ad.

Although I’m not sure it’s an “ad” as much as it is a “project.”

In a nutshell, it’s a piece about how we see ourselves versus how everyone else sees us. In the project, an artist draws each person based solely on how they describe themselves, then again as someone else describes them and we’re invited to see the difference. No huge surprise, I don’t think, that most ordinary women built up the bad features of their face to the point where the artist drew them as almost scary looking while others described the same person in a more upbeat, favorable fashion that inevitably turned out a much more pleasant and happy looking portrait!

First the skeptic!

The project was planned by Dove and I’m sure the artist knew what was going to happen even though he never saw the people until the whole thing was through. But did that taint in anyway his rendering of the portraits?

Could he have subliminally drawn their own descriptions of themselves worse than they might have been ordinarily?

Plus, the music and tone of the piece was so poignant that it made me want to cry.

The TakeAway!

The main thing I noticed when I looked at the finished portraits side by side was first, how closely the artist captured the person without ever having seen them! But then, he is a courtroom/police sketch artist. And second, the main difference I saw in the two pictures was the happiness factor. I guess its true that we tend to focus on the minute details and how wrong everything is going…more crows feet, another pimple, look how that is drooping, and all added together they can be scary and sad.

So this project tells me that others are not focusing so much on the details as much as our overall persona, which, it seems, comes across as pleasant, bright and happy. At least it did in the pictures.

I don’t personally know that many women who are totally unhappy with the way they look to the point where they obsess about it and are miserable, but I’m sure they’re out there.

Back to the happiness factor. I think that when you keep as much happy in your life as you can, it shows all over. If you’re miserable it won’t matter how perfect your skin or hair is…you still look bad.

If there’s something that can look a little better and you can do something about it, do it I say. And if you can’t, well, there’s the old adage — if you can’t fix it, feature it!