Staying Stylish in Suburbia

How we see ourselves vs. How others see us

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'll be the first to admit that pregnancy can be especially hard on a persons self image. I wish I felt all glowing and beautiful all the time but more often than not it's been just the opposite. All I see are the bags under my eyes and the extra pounds. No matter how many times my husband looks adoringly at me or a friend compliments my new mama physique, I have a hard time seeing whatever it is they see. Which is not to say that I can't appreciate the beauty in the other pregnant women. Just not in myself quite as much.

On the other hand as a mom I am constantly gazing at my two year old daughter, admiring every eyelash and dimpled detail on her little being. I can't imagine her ever feeling anything but beautiful. Unfortunately as a woman I know better and dread the day that she will begin to pick herself apart. Which is why when I ran across this project in the Creative Review, I had to pass it along. It's such an  important reminder for me to keep striving for self love. Not only for my own sake but also in regards to the example I am setting for my little girl.

The concept is a collaboration between Ogilvy Brazil and Dove's campaign for real beauty. An experiment to contrast the way women perceive themselves compared to the way others see them. The project involved a top forensic sketch artists who was commissioned to sit down with individual women and listen as they describe themselves in detail without ever being seen. The first description (by the women themselves) is represented by the image on the left. The second image on the right is a description by a complete stranger of the same woman. The results are quite revealing...

What about you? Have you struggled with seeing yourself the way others seem to see you? How important do you think this sort of campaign is in starting a new discussion about beauty?

 Here is a short video describing how the project worked in more detail. It's definitely worth a watch. 

Dove Real Beauty Sketches


  1. I love that you are addressing this on your blog. Image is such a personal issue for each one of us regardless of how we individually define it. I have been following the Dove beauty project for women and girls for about 7 years now and I love knowing they are helping to make a difference in our perceptions or misperceptions.

  2. Me too, Marilyn! I've been so impressed that Dove has kept this campaign going for so long. Thanks so much for commenting. :)