In 2004, Dove launched their Real Beauty campaign. The aim of the campaign was to start a global conversation about the need for a wider definition of beauty. Since then, the campaign has produced several creative advertisements deconstructing the exceedingly unattainable standard of beauty held by us as consumers and promoted by the media worldwide. 3 days ago, the Dove US youtube account uploaded a video titled “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”. The video has since gone viral, with over 2.6 million views and counting. It begins by introducing a retired FBI forensic artist, who sits in a large room, separated by a screen from a subject who is asked to describe their own facial features. Subjects were also asked to “get friendly” with another participant, and then describe the person they met. The experiment is blind – none of the subjects were told why they were being asked these questions, and the artist was not permitted to view the participants. The results are eye-opening and moving. We are shown the two sketches side by side, one based on the subjects own description, and the other based on a strangers’. In all cases shown, the two sketches were dramatically different, with the first sketches all appearing to negatively and excessively highlight perceived faults, such as a “big forehead” or a “large jaw”. This is perhaps the saddest part of the video – the moment when the subjects are confronted by these two opposing views of themselves. One woman describes her first sketch as looking “fatter, more closed off, and sadder”. In all cases shown the second sketches, based on descriptions by relative strangers, appear far more flattering. The same woman, with tears in her eyes, describes her second portrait as “open, friendly and happy”. The message is poignant. You are more beautiful than you think you are. The sharing of this message is part of our mission at beutifulmagazine and is one that is desperately needed. The Real Beauty campaign was launched partly as a result of Dove study findings revealing that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. If you take a moment to consider all the women in your life, you will find that figure truly appalling. Because I just know someone is itching to point it out, yes I know that Dove is obviously a company that wants to sell me products. But honestly, if buying into Dove’s corporate ploy to sell me a $1.48 stick of deodorant means I get more campaigns like these, so be it. I think it’s about time we collectively used our purchasing power for good. You can check out the longer version of the video here.