Friday, April 26, 2013

The cost of being beautiful

I'm sure by now, almost everyone in the world has seen the Dove "Real Beauty Sketches". At last glance, the video is currently up to 28,774,413 viewers on YouTube. I always thought "Bread on It" was worth such high numbers, but maybe it was just too ahead of its time.

By now, I'm sure you've also seen some of the backlash for the ad. There's a men's version parody. There's this article with the astute quote: "You should feel beautiful, and Dove was right about one thing: you are more beautiful than you know. But please, please hear me: you are so, so much more than beautiful." There's the sermon that a pastor at my church gave when he reminded us that we are more beautiful than we think, but that fact is rooted not in beauty products, but that beauty is rooted in the fact that we are made in the image of God.

I laugh at the parody. I hear the criticism. I amen the sermon. However. I still like the video. And this is why:

Last night after going to the gym I went home to take a shower. My before bed time routine consisted of the following things: washing my face, toning my face, using "repairing lotion" on my face, using a 6% sulfur overnight face mask, putting repairing cream on my feet and sleeping in socks, lotion on my hands and elbows before getting into bed.

I have a clear memory of myself as a kid getting ready to go outside and play. I was wearing leggings, summer dress, crew socks rolled down, tennis shoes, and my hair was in a pony tail. And I hula hooped for hours and hours standing in the sunshine. Getting dressed enabled me to run outside, stand in the sunshine, and play. Now getting dressed enables me to often feel bad about myself, pick apart my muffin top, and sit uncomfortably at my desk.

So, I get all the Dove backlash. They are after all a company trying to sell you something, and not a philanthropic organization. But there was a time when if someone said to me "You are more beautiful than you think you are" I would have been confused...because I never gave much thought to whether or not I'm beautiful. I just did life. And I'd like to rediscover that girl.