Three reasons to #ChooseBeautiful. #video #brave

In a recent post I likened pharmaceutical advertising to spitting in my face and hocus-pocus. I didn’t pick on all advertising because I’m a fan of the persuasive art when it is done well. Yesterday, I saw it done very well.

Yesterday, Why is there bread in my kool-aid? shared Silver Linings and the above video. Before you read more from us, especially my female friends, if you haven’t watched the video, please do (but promise to come back) to avoid a spoiler below.

I’m pleased to report that I immediately chose the beautiful door. Me! Older, grayer, you-get-the-picture-er, me. Why? Two of my reasons are shown in the video.

The scenes that show individual women stopping to think through the decision to walk through the beautiful door, or not, capture our need to stop. Stop. Stop to be reasonable. We need to stop and ask ourselves, “Who decides what is beautiful?” “Who decides about my beauty?” Me, that’s who.

Fortunately, I’m not alone in this world. The scenes that include women helping women to choose the beautiful door made me cry. There are times in life when we carry burdens that are too heavy to carry alone. For example, when we are young, awkward, and convinced that we aren’t beautiful, we need other women to help us to see the lie. We need to see their confidence in us and themselves. We need to see ourselves in them.

I’ll add one more reason as to why I chose the beautiful door.

Just as there are women who help us to choose the beautiful door, there are beautiful men who see the beauty in us, often when we can’t see it ourselves. My husband has called me “Beautiful” for years, much to my discomfort at first. He persisted. My sons build me up with compliments and sweet gestures, ensuring me that I’m the only woman for them. Being their only woman will not persist so I’m enjoying the ride while it lasts.

Beautiful men look past female insecurities and fussy ways to reassure us that our beauty is both skin deep and deeper still.

Do you consider yourself to be beautiful? Would you walk through the beautiful door? Do you help others to be beautiful? Do you find the video to be truthful? Something else?

Choose beautiful because you are. ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc 

41 thoughts on “Three reasons to #ChooseBeautiful. #video #brave

  1. I’d go through the average door. Like one of the women said, I wouldn’t even hesitate. But then I suspect as ever the introvert and deep thinker, I’d wonder for the next several minutes why I wasn’t brave enough to go through the beautiful door. And then after that, I’d likely forget what I went into the building for in the first place. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it is really sad that this is the context, benchmark, and standard by which women are judged and view themselves. This would never have been done for men. I think this add simply perpetuates a systemic problem in that women are compelled to be conscious and aware, and give a privileged position to, an idea of beauty and that is wrong. Why should the aspiration be beauty? Why not intelligence? Why not ultruism? Why not funny? Funny is a far more worthwhile persuit than beauty. And it is physical beauty they are talking about because the company is flogging beauty products not books. When I see adds like this I’m terribly grateful I’m a man and don’t have to worry about being judged on something I have no control over. Or at the very least, the idea of beauty is a miniscule part of my identity.

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    • Yay, I’m glad you chimed in, John!

      You are right that an advertisement of this sort wouldn’t be done for men. I bet the folks who made it are looking at research that points to the hypothesis that women are hardwired to feel vulnerable or shame regarding their looks. For men, it would go for vulnerability or shame connected to failure. There is something compelling to me to consider that this stuff goes beyond social engineering.

      While there is part of my brain that doesn’t want looks to matter at all, from my personal experience I know they do for me and my closest women friends from the time I was a little girl.

      The good news for me is that I never aspired to be (skin deep) beautiful and strove instead to have a sparkling personality 😉 I earned the degrees. I served the needy. I’m funny as all get out, which you already knew 😀 So it is a strange turn of events that with those things relatively mastered, this idea of beauty mattering arose. It is strange to consider that being competent and confident in some arenas didn’t necessarily cross-over into the beauty arena. Yet eventually, beauty became something life-giving, not life burdening or limiting. Beauty on my terms based on the objective truth that beauty is about my whole self. That love makes me beautiful.

      Dove is definitely trying to sell their product and connect themselves to some deep emotions, hardwired or not. We’ll see if it works! As for me, I won’t buy Dove soap because I’m a practical gal and I prefer other products.

      I just asked my 9 year old son, if there were two doors to choose from, one “handsome” or one “average” which would you choose. He looked at me confused and said, “Handsome. That’s a weird question!” 😀

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      • Hahaha. Your son is funny. You make some good points and I understand what you are saying. And by what I know of you, and what you have described, you are of course beautiful but that word is so narrow and confining I find it lacks an ability to grasp the true essence of the person. Beauty does matter, I’d be idiotic to completely dismiss this premise. I think my reaction was one of “icky” because Dove was so crass, and in my opinion, thought so little of women as think that if they demonstrated a willingness to tell all women that they are beautiful then this affirmation, and a positive reflection of themselves, then they will associate this with their product. In a way it is brilliant and at the same time crude. The motive is not to elevate women, it is to sell a lot of product. I think that might be where my strong feelings about this are emanating from. On the other hand it is just soap and whatnot, John, so calm the hell down. Don’t go burning your bra for crying out loud. Compelling post!

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      • Oh, John, as a writer who takes his craft seriously and ponders words carefully, is there a word that would better grasp the true essence of the person? I want that word!

        The advertising part of this is fascinating. Brilliant and crude. I think so. And what about patronizing? In other words, did I need Dove to point out my weakness and lift me up through self-awareness and…soap? Should I thank Dove the way would thank Gordon Ramsay from our previous discussion? Thank you oh wise one? Not feeling it 😀

        Your strong feelings are terrific.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had a discussion sort of similar to this with Colette. Advertisers have become brilliant at their product from the competitors product by connecting the product to a certain set of ideals that people wish to aspire to, cultural artifacts people would like to be associated with (like music), and affirmation: You are worth it! You deserve this! So now the product becomes a symbol of a specific kind of tribe. And it is in that desire to belong, and be thought of by others as you think of yourself, that manipulation is used. Advertisers exploit thus and, sadly, a lot of the world’s sharpest minds are thinking of ways to create desire and then present a product that will fulfill that desire.

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      • It really is amazing how sophisticated advertising has become, for better or worse.

        Another recent advertisement caught my eye because of a type of reverse psychology used

        Coke let’s us know, that they know, we can’t be fooled, wink, wink. And with humor they sell more Coke, if not exactly life happiness.

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      • I appreciate the back and forth here, Angie and John. My girlfriend and I watched the video last night, and we liked it but were let down by the Dove logo at the end. At least it was subtle. I guess I’m of two minds (both male, unfortunately!) on this. The video can help female and male viewers keep ‘beauty’ in perspective (choose your own definition), but the downside is it can also raise the importance of superficial appearance. Angie, what you said in your post is just as powerful, if not moreso, than the video. From a marketing perspective, if the video campaign boosts sales of Dove, it may be because of appreciation for the positive, empowering approach they took, rather than thinking ‘I’ll be more attractive if I use Dove.’ What I hope is that the message supersedes the marketing — maybe it’s just me, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of Super Bowl commercials and couldn’t tell you what company or product was being advertised. I’ll try to watch the Dove video again, and maybe then I’ll have more cogent thoughts.

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      • I had exactly the same let down feeling at the logo, Jim. I do question, if this experiment was done by, let’s say, a graduate student for his project, would I have felt differently about the experiment itself? Would it have felt less manipulative? I love your male perspectives and appreciate your compliment about my post 😀 Great point about potential success for the marketing may be connected to an appreciation for Dove’s positive approach. And, you’ve likely guessed, that we’re fans of Super Bowl commercials. I, too, just try to enjoy the moment and go with the ride. It’s almost like those commercials, which tend to be excellent, are making amends for the majority of *terrible* commercials out there. Jim, I appreciate your very cogent thoughts. Thanks for adding to this discussion.

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  3. I don’t know about going through the “beautiful” door, but if there is a “friggen awesome” door I’d bust right through it!!

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  4. It made me sad to see how many considered themselves average. I would never walk through a door labeled as “average”, I think way too much of myself. And who says that “beautiful” stands
    for physical beauty? There are so many more important ways that we are all beautiful. Shame on Dove…for reinforcing that women need someone outside of ourselves for validation. I’m not buying it. It is thought-provoking, though. ☺ Van

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thought-provoking for sure, Van. Curious, was there ever a time in your life when you would have considered walking through the average door?

      I also thought it was interesting that they chose “average” as the other door choice. Is Dove being sensitive by not using the school playground term, “ugly.” But is Dove, none the less, implying that average is less than? I think well of myself and I’m a happily average gal 😀

      “I’m not buying it.” Perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too! And I still do 😀 A few years ago I was at family party given by friends. One of their relatives and I began talking. She was model beautiful. By the end of the evening, she thanked me for talking with her. She said matter-of-factly that often at parties like this, women won’t approach her. Their loss because she was enjoyable company.

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      • Women of beauty are often lonely. Men approach with caution, if at all. And other women seem mistrustful, maybe intimidated. I’ve had this discussion a lot, especially with my daughter, who has lost many female friends in her young life.

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