Only four percent of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Four percent. That’s nothing when you consider that there are roughly three billion, four hundred and thirty nine million, four hundred and twenty seven thousand, and thirty seven women in the world. There is so much beauty in the world, so why is this number so small?
Dove set out to find out. They conducted a social experiment geared towards exploring how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see, and documented it in a video currently making the Internet rounds. Yes, it’s an ad, but ignore that for a moment, because it’s definitely worth watching.
Here’s what they did:
Gil Zamora is a forensic artist. He trained at the FBI Academy in Composite Art, and worked for San Jose Police Department as their police artist from 1995 to 2011. A series of women were brought one at a time into a large room well-lit by natural sunlight, where Gil waited with his drafting board. He couldn’t see the women; a curtain separated him from them, and he had his back to them as well. He then had each woman describe herself to him, and he sketched portraits based on their descriptions. When the portraits were complete, they were shown out of the room. Gil never saw them.
Next, a second person—in some cases a man, in others a woman—to whom the women he had sketched had been introduced a little earlier. He asked this new person to describe the woman he or she had met earlier, and sketched a portrait based off of this second description.
Then he showed the original women—who had now been drawn twice—the two portraits: The ones based on their own descriptions of themselves, and the ones based on the descriptions the other people had given him. The results?… Well, maybe you should just watch the video for yourself:
In every case, the second portrait is more lifelike and more beautiful—and it looks much more like the woman it depicts actually does.
Wow. Just… wow.
As women, we are overwhelmingly critical of ourselves—and needlessly so. Because we are beautiful. All of us. No matter how old we are, or what body type we have, or any of another million different nitpicks… we are all beautiful. Sometimes we just need to see ourselves how others see us to remind us of this fact—because it IS a fact. It is completely and wonderfully true.
Check out all of the portraits and hear each woman’s story directly from her here.
Oh, and one last thing:
You are beautiful. Never forget that.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.