Last Friday I attended a lovely event hosted by Dove at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel in Constantia. You would be right in assuming it was a luxurious morning spent indulging in a delicious brunch alongside a bunch of beautiful women…. BUT what made this morning unique was the important message that we were there to hear, process and discuss!
The latest campaign from Dove, #ChooseBeautiful, is based around encouraging women to choose beautiful everyday!
Firstly we watched this moving mini-movie which challenged the perceptions we each have of ourselves.
Dove set up signs above side-by-side doors in five cities around the world. In each city, one door read “Beautiful” and the other “Average”. A camera crew then observed the way women reacted to the marked doors – and which one they ultimately walked through. The results are a powerful commentary on how many women perceive their own beauty. Watch it below and I’m sure you’ll discover why…
Did you love it? I certainly did! What a powerful truth to uncover – the power of discovering our beauty potential every single day and how that will impact on the rest of our lives!
Then to take things one step further we then spent some time unpacking our own “beauty stories” with life coach, Paula Facci. These are the stories we have been told or told ourselves over the years. And they usually aren’t very nice! These messages are the ones that go through our subconcious each time we look in the mirror, get undressed with the lights on or got to the beach. Often we don’t even know where they have come from. It might be from our upbringing, our tumultuous teenage years or society’s expectations of what “real” beauty is. The challenge is to change them, to skip over the scratched part of the CD and look for the next beautiful song….
And that is exactly what we did. Each woman was given a board and a permanent marker and told to write down their story. The first one they could think of. There are probably hundreds to choose from, but revealing just one felt like a huge task! Finally I put my pen to paper and revealed my shameful secret….
And here is mine for all to see…..Eeeeeek!!!
After going round the group hearing each woman’s secret shame, and they were as varied as the woman at the table. From pale skin, to large bums, big noses, to the battle scars of pregnancy, almost every body image issue was revealed.
And the amazing thing was that by looking at each of the woman present you would NEVER HAVE GUESSED. Yes, each of the hangups mentioned were so well hidden that none of would have pinpointed what the others were most ashamed of! The irony is that we’re all too busy obsessing about our own flaws to notice anyone else’s!!
Finally we all sat down once more and this time we flipped our boards over. At the top was the #ChooseBeautiful slogan and we were challenged to rewrite our old beauty story. To choose a new beauty story that we would choose to believe going forward! This was mine…
If you want to take part in this same exercise I encourage you to follow these steps:
1. Self awareness – identify your default beauty story or stories based on your conditioning.
2. Question negativity – don’t believe everything you think and let go of harmful thoughts.
3. Override with positive – choose to replace those damaging beauty stories with new, positive stories that celebrate your unique beauty.
4. Repeat, repeat, repeat – do this daily or until you no longer default to your negative beauty story but believe your new story!
The power of choice is that our choices direct our lives and determine who we become. Beauty is a choice, and the power of this choice is in your hands. Wouldn’t you rather make this positive, uplifting choice about yourself every day??
Make the right choice today, tomorrow and every day…. #ChooseBeautiful
What do you think? Do you have a harmful beauty story that is stuck on repeat in your head and needs to be replaced? After my own vulnerability I’d love to hear yours…
Share it in the comments below, along with your NEW beauty story and how you will #ChooseBeautiful from now on of course!
P.s. And if you identify with my beauty story and it’s the same sort of beauty story you hear in your head, that a mother’s body isn’t beautiful, you might like to watch this little video too. You’re welcome!
Images: Dove & Kathryn Rossiter