Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
Many of you may have come across this video put together by Dove this past spring. As a part of Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign, this video encourages women to examine the ways in which they define their natural beauty and how their perceptions of beauty impact their daily lives. In an effort to build self-esteem for women of all ages, Dove reminds women that they are often their own worst enemies, placing judgments on themselves that can go so far as to alter their own state of happiness.
We have become accustomed to discussing body image issues in relation to young people, often girls transitioning into adulthood. However, it is crucial to remember that body image is a fluid aspect of how we view ourselves, regardless of sex or gender. As Dove presents in this video, our evaluations of the way that we look can become extremely idealistic to a point where our relationships with others can be affected.
Do you agree with Dove’s belief that beauty is critical to your happiness? What about natural beauty’s influence on relationships? As one woman in the video explains, natural beauty “impacts the choices in friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children…It impacts everything.” The subject of beauty usually comes up when people venture into the dating world and work towards making romantic connections. This makes sense seeing as our romantic relationships tend to develop from an initial physical attraction. Yet beyond first impressions, accepting and embracing your natural beauty are acts of vulnerability that are not always easy to take on. Not being able to discover your natural beauty can hold you back from being honest with not just yourself, but also from being honest from others. What helps to maintain a healthy relationship is the ability of both partners to help identify and emphasize each other’s natural beauty. During times when you hold yourself back from recognizing what makes you beautiful, the partner you have may help you to some extent.
Danielle Adam, Blog Editor
Addendum: On the other hand, there are some partners who criticize their partner’s looks and undermine their sense of their own beauty. If your significant other is performing this function in your life, and you are having trouble overcoming your resultant feelings of insecurity, you might consider turning to PARC for help.
Barbara Feld, LCSW, PARC