What Do We See?

I can’t decide if I’m feeling more angry or sad after watching this video. Perhaps just a dash of hope thrown in for good measure?

What do you think? 



I watched this video late last night and was too tired to really analyse my feelings. This morning I woke up appalled that these women were shamed on a visceral and public level about their levels of internalised body-hate/dislike. And some of them commenting so dishearteningly that they needed to do more work on themselves nearly broke my heart.

The ‘hope’ I expressed has more to do with women watching the video and thinking about why we see ourselves negatively, not just self-blaming.


“ Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the feeling of being beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld” Martha Beck, sociologist, author, therapist, life-coach


14 comments on “What Do We See?

  1. W. R. Woolf says:

    It’s sad that so many are so critical of themselves. Sometimes to the point of severely damaging their self esteem, but it’s possible to change that, so I’ll go with the hope 🙂


  2. I suppose the point of the commercial (or whatever it was supposed to be) was to show how pretty women see themselves as ogres. Oh-oh, I feel a bit of disgust seeping up in me because I just realized that the women still needed others’ opinions to feel good about themselves. Now, I would’ve loved to have seen the forensic artist draw a woman who didn’t have a flawless face, say someone (like myself) with dry, flaky eczema skin riddled with brown spots and who forgot to pluck the long hairs off her chin and mustache. hahaha. Okay, hopefully this commercial will help some girls and women be less harsh on themselves and other females.


  3. Interesting experiment. It doesn’t make me angry, but I guess it does make me a little sad, how hard it is for so many of us to see the good things about ourselves.


    • Widdershins says:

      This video is certainly stirring things up on the interwebz. Most commenters start off saying things like, ’empowering’ and then think about it for a moment and then are all, ‘WTF?’ when they start digging into why women feel this way.


  4. jannatwrites says:

    This was sad – I wanted to cry at times. It’s sad that we see ourselves so critically. It was encouraging that even though we are critical of ourselves, we are much kinder when describing others. I’m guilty of focusing on my most unattractive attributes, so I can relate to them on that level.


    • Widdershins says:

      Yeah … imagine how we would describe ourselves to a forensic artist … and then include how we feel about ourselves when we’re happy … that would be a fascinating contrast, I bet.


  5. londonmabel says:

    There’s a whole series of videos on youtube that delve more deeply into the experiment and the women’s reactions. Has anyone watched them? I haven’t.

    The ad doesn’t bother me, in terms of how it’s made. Of course it’s extremely unscientific. Did the artist know what he was doing? Did this influence his drawing? There’s a million ways you could pick it apart.

    But I thought the basic take-away message is that the things we see when we look in the mirror, and the things other people see, aren’t always the same–usually to our own detriment. And I think there are plenty of better experiments that demonstrate things like that, as well as our own experience with friends. Dove just figured out an impactful-in-few-minutes way of making the point.

    Even Susie Mac’s comment sort of bears out this ad, doesn’t it? If I were describing her to the cops, would I have noticed the unplucked hairs on her chin? Of course not. (Unless they’re three inches long.)


  6. Diana Beebe says:

    This is fascinating. The women who said she had work to do on herself–I took that to mean that she needed to see herself differently–the way the stranger saw and described her. Not that she had to do anything to physically change, but that she could accept herself and see her own good qualities. She could see that a perfect stranger described her so nicely.

    It’s a bit like hearing our own voices from a recording. We don’t always recognize ourselves. It makes me think that I need to avoid being overly self-critical.


    • Widdershins says:

      Many moons ago I used to DJ a community radio program and it took me quite a while to get used to the sound of my own voice. Apparently, we hear our voices deeper than what they are … who’d’a’ thunk?


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