If you are like most women in South Africa (approx 96% according to a recent study by Dove) you don’t consider yourself beautiful… What a scary statistic for a generation that believes wholeheartedly in feminism! After watching their latest TV advert I was struck by just how easy it is for us to identify things we don’t like about ourselves but find it difficult to see our own #RealBeauty. If you haven’t seen it watch it here…
Is it because we have the incorrect image of what beauty embodies?
Is it because our culture has fed us too many lies and we have believed them?
Is it because as girls our parents or caregivers told us that it was vain or conceited to appreciate our own beauty?
Maybe it’s the opposite – we learnt pretty quickly from them that we weren’t beautiful and needed to change something about ourselves in order to be considered a beauty?
It could have even been high school friends or an ex that tainted your image of yourself?
Or are you just your own worst enemy, pressurizing yourself with high standards and ideals?
Whatever or whoever it was, there was someone who made you think differently about yourself. Each women has her own reason for struggling in this area. There is no one answer, but it is my belief that it is worth investigating what messages and lies you are feeding yourself daily. We need to become aware of WHY we are our own worst critics when it comes to our appearance and make positive steps to change this.
I definitely can’t profess to have it all together in this field. I’m just like every other woman out there who struggles to see the good aspects of myself and focuses on the negative “could do better” areas! And this as someone who has a fair measure of confidence!
How a woman feels about her looks can greatly affect her overall self esteem and happiness. The Dove vision is to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence rather than anxiety. We want to encourage all women to develop a positive relationship with beauty, helping to raise their self-esteem, and thereby enabling them to realise their full potential.
One simple step to make these changes is to start caring for yourself in practical ways – making your beauty and body needs as a priority for just a few minutes a day will help you to maximise your beauty potential. According to Dove’s recent study 72% of women agree that the most beautiful women they know are those who make the most of what they have, yet almost half of all the women interviewed say they are not doing this, even though they agree they have the potential to look better and find pleasure in the process of taking care of themselves… Why is this?? Surely the time it takes to make yourself feel a bit more beautiful, confident and ultimately happier is worth it?
Join the conversation on facebook.com/dove where you can also find out how to get involved in the Dove self esteem programme or download free self esteem toolkits for girls, moms and mentors.
What would you answer to the title question of this post? What is #RealBeauty?
What are you thoughts on the topic? Which area of body image and beauty do you struggle with the most? And why? Have you made any progress in changing your perception of yourself and embracing your own #RealBeauty?
Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments below…