We just posted our latest Video Short entitled A Beautiful Body. You can view it here free throughout January. It portrays the touching true story of how one dad intentionally spent time helping his young daughter (age 4) think about the real meaning of beauty by recasting the definition of “beauty” in light of what our own bodies are and can do just the way they are, rather than the culturally dominant theme of how our bodies look.
This is an important message related to body image for females of all ages. While some businesses, like Dove® soap, have tackled body image head on (see their Real Beauty campaign), this messaging is the exception to the marketing norm in the United States. As referenced on Dove’s website, a global study found that only 2% of women worldwide describe themselves as beautiful. In a compelling video demonstrating women’s self-perception, Dove’s efforts help us see how “disconnected” a woman’s view of self can be from reality.
It’s challenging enough for me to wrap my head around this when I see it impacting my wife, my close female friends and colleagues . . . or my own adult daughter. But when I see the impact of our culture already beginning to inform perceptions of my granddaughter at a mere five-years-of-age, it causes a skip in my heartbeat.
And what additional challenge do women of color, or differently-abled women face? How much more effort must it take to ward off the overwhelming marketing message of what becomes defined as beauty? The brushstroke altered, photo-shopped images that adorn every checkout aisle at the local convenience story or grocery remind me daily of how deeply the messages permeate our experience.
So . . . take up the challenge with me of letting every woman you know, regardless of age, about the real beauty you see in them. Recognize their gifts and talents. Compliment their effort and persistence, their ability to overcome, their capacity to love and care for themselves and others. The gift each of them is to the world. We can “out market” the marketplace, one interaction at a time!