Self Esteem and Real Beauty

  • Do you look to others for validation?
  • What source of self esteem and real beauty brings lasting happiness?
  • You can only control your own actions

The Dove Real Beauty Campaign launched a new ad.

My partner told me about it after he listened to a radio show that reviewed the video from a marketing perspective.

This video got me thinking: Does the Dove Real Beauty Campaign help or hinder our understanding of self esteem and real beauty?

Here it is:

What do I think is great about it?

Well, it’s true. We all focus too much energy on what we don’t like about ourselves.

We’re our harshest critics

We put ourselves under a microscope and what we don’t like becomes bigger than all the things we do like. And sadly, when you magnify one thing, it blocks out everything else.

Remembering we can distort the truth is important. We need to be mindful of how we spend our energy. And take control of how we see the world.

However, I still find this Dove Real Beauty Campaign superficial. Tip-of-the-iceberg thinking does have it’s place and can trigger great discussion. It’s a chance to stop, debate and define how we think. But whenever I see these sorts of self-esteem strategies, they remind me of my experience of trying to lose weight.

In short, losing weight is easy, I made it complicated

I made weight loss complicated by searching for answers all around me instead of going back to the basics. And I feel the same way about building self esteem and real beauty.

Where does self esteem and real beauty begin?

We talk about all the ways we can stop the world from rushing in and hurting us. When in fact, feeling good about ourselves shouldn’t have so much to do with everyone else.

Whether the words coming at you are critical, constructive or complimentary, they’re coming from the outside and based on someone else’s opinion; one that reflects how they see the world. What people think and say has a lot more to do with them, than their subject.

We can never be in charge, nor should we, of what other people think or feel.

Additionally, if we’re too busy pleasing others, we won’t have time to listen to our own gut feelings and decide what’s right for us.

We need to ask ourselves: What can I control? Then focus our efforts on that.

Rather than looking all around us, we need to develop self esteem and real beauty by looking within.

Building self esteem and real beauty

If we base what we think about ourselves on the choices we make – if we like ourselves because we like most of the decisions we’ve made as we go through each day – then we can build our self esteem on our actions. Things that are earned, lasting and get better with age. The more decisions you make that you believe in, the more you believe in yourself.

Building self esteem by making choices you feel good about, puts you in the drivers seat so you can be in charge of how you feel about yourself instead of hoping others like you. You can only control your own actions and how you feel about them.

Knowing that self esteem and real beauty come from within makes it easier to keep making choices you believe in, even if they’re not the most popular choice.

To me, understanding the value of being true to yourself makes more sense than training ourselves, to see ourselves, the way others see us—as the Dove Real Beauty Campaign seems to suggest.

If Dove really wants to go more than skin deep and challenge real beauty, why are our looks part of the discussion? How does this video add anything but clutter to the conversation?

Real beauty, for me, is life experience and what you do with it. What have you learned? How can you use it to help others?

A smile always helps too! A friendly face creates chemistry, something Semisonic searing through your soul. (Love this song!)

So, for a smile, have a look at the Dove Campaign Sketch Spoofs, delivered by people whose humour and insight reflect real beauty; earned and lasting character that comes from life experience:

I love a lot of what Dove does. But to me, the female Self Esteem and Real Beauty Campaign Sketches just bring us backwards.



  Work with me - 1:1 Coaching Buy Now - It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds What the F do I eat?


Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it

What are your thoughts on Dove’s Self Esteem and Real Beauty Campaign?