Hey! You're More Beautiful Than You Think

Lord knows, I've done it enough.  Look in the mirror and see the wrinkles under my eyes, like scratches in sand; the chin no longer quite as firm as before; the parentheses on either side of my nose.

But a new Dove commercial says a friend would describe me very differently.  According to Tanzina Vega at The New York Times, women describe their faces much more unattractively than their friends would.

This was figured out when an artist asked women to describe themselves while he sketched a face that matched what they said. Then he would ask a friend to do the same about that particular women.  Every time the friend's description was much more attractive than the woman's herself.

What does this say about us?  Vega ruminated about it, to, but when we're constantly exposed to women who eat one meal a month (as Charlie Sheen once said about a girlfriend before he was blown off "Two and a Half Men"), have plastic surgery for rounder butts, or flatter stomachs, and have their faces yanked up to their eyebrows, all to look a few years younger (see "Housewives of" you name the city), how could we feel anything but, well, not very pretty?

I suppose we should all have better self esteem but you show a woman who doesn't look in the mirror and say, "I should lose five pounds," and I'll show you a man who couldn't care less when his pants from last year don't zip.

Imagine how models and stars would react if photographers and magazine editors didn't fix them to look superhuman.

What about how men see themselves?  A hilarious parody video by New Feelings Time Comedy running at adweek.com shows men in the same situation, describing themselves while the sketch artist draws them, complete with soft focus, close-ups and gentle piano plunks, and while the men say things like, "My mom said I have the most beautiful teeth," and "I'm a white Denzel Washington," and "The older I've gotten, the more stunning I've gotten," women, when asked to describe these men, say, "He looks like he smells really bad, and he did," and "His face was kind of dirty-looking," and "He looked like a lawn gnome, "His eyes were bugged-out" and "He looked straight from Mordor."

Then the artist shows the men how they see themselves (Brad Pitt) and then how women see them, and they're gap-toothed and chubby and hairy, and, well, ugly.

Pretty funny.  But underneath, it all, it tells us something sad about how -- and how differently -- we look at ourselves.



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