I was inspired to write this blog post by the recent Dove Real Beauty advert. For the few that haven’t seen the advert yet (click here) , a FBI forensic artist is behind a curtain and draws the individuals portrait by their own self description. The artist then draws a second portrait of the same individual but this time the drawing is based on a strangers description of them.
When the two portraits are compared, the portrait based on the individuals own self description was very unflattering and miserable. However, the portrait based on the strangers description of the individual was more softer, more realistic and somewhat – happier.
It highlighted that these women had self distorted images of themselves and did not realise how beautiful they were. Whilst watching the advert I got quite emotional because I know for a fact I can relate and a lot of people I know can relate too. It just goes to show that we are all too consumed with a perception of what we think we should look like, when really we should just embrace the way we are.
Not too long ago my friend who works in a school, asked me to come and workout with some of the year 11s, so I did. When I met them we discussed their goals and why they wanted to start working out. Sadly, their responses were “I want a body like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian”.
It made me realise that the majority of us, and when I say us, I’m referring mainly to those in the black community, are obsessed with the image that the perfect body is a slim waist, thick thighs and a big bum. These girls were only 15/16 and already they were worried about getting big hips and a big bum. I had to remind them that they were only young so there bodies had not even fully developed yet.
But lets be honest, a lot of females decide to start working out because they are trying to achieve that same “perfect” body. My opinion is, if that’s your only motivation to work out, then your doing it for all the wrong reasons and your motivation to workout probably won’t last that long.
Personally, i’m working out to improve my fitness and although looking good does come into it, it isn’t my main goal. Some of you are probably rolling your eyes because I’m talking about not being obsessed with having wide hips and a small waist but these are features I possess so I can say this, but through working out my bum and hips have got smaller, but these are sacrifices I’m willing to make in the hopes of becoming fitter.
But yh… the advert got me thinking and made me realise that what most people see as negative features and flaws – they blow it out of proportion, when really they are actually positive and beautiful qualities. The moment we stop pressurising ourselves to look like others and conform to an idealised beauty and the sooner we start being happy within ourselves, we will start enjoying life a lot more.
Next time you find yourself having a stand off with your mirror don’t focus on the new flaw you’ve discovered, focus on that flawless beauty that it yet to be re-discovered again!