Tell Me I’m Pretty

By now you’ve all seen the Dove ad campaign, Real Beauty Sketches.  If you haven’t you can watch it here: Dove Real Beauty Sketches

It’s great.  It demonstrates the problems with self-perception that women can have.  It’s well executed:   Nice music.  Soft lighting.  The works.  It’s all part of their larger Real Beauty campaign.  I rather like the campaign in some ways.  I like that the focus is taken away from airbrushed, idealized mannequins and is instead directed toward the beauty of the individual and how women are part of a wondrous variety of shapes and sizes all of which are beautiful.

I agree wholeheartedly… in principal.

I got a kick out of this as well.  It’s a bit of a response to that campaign from the point of view of the male side.  If you haven’t seen it give it a watch here: Dove Real Beauty Sketches – Men.

Pretty funny stuff, ya?

The guys describing themselves was hilarious.  I like the one guy’s comment about his eyes, “they just go on and on”. I’ve known plenty of guys like that.  No doubt.  I like the perceptual reversal.  I mean men are mostly just self-aggrandizing egotists and it’s funny to see them being put in their place.  It really is.


It’s an interesting dichotomy we’ve got here.  Women find themselves to be unattractive while men find themselves to be attractive.


Is it really like that or do people… all people have these same issues?  I’ve grown up hearing that women are subjected to a constant beat down from media imagery.  They’re held to an unreasonable standard by magazines and movies and TV and on and on.  I’m not denying it.  It’s all true.  Every bit.  The thing is that what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.

I’d like to know where Dove’s campaign for men is.  Do we get to be beautiful as we are too or do I still have to try to look like Hugh Jackman or Paul Newman or something to measure up?

Or this guy?  Dapper as fuck.  Jeesh!

I could never live up to the images that were put up in front of me when I was growing up, but I figured out on my own that those images weren’t real so I stopped. I couldn’t blame the advertisers, movie studios, magazine publishers, or comic book artists for them. They were doing their job to promote an ideal.  Ideals sell.  Their job is sales.  Looking at those things didn’t make me hate myself any more than looking at a Greek statue of an athlete or Michaelangelo’s David, or any number of classicist paintings of strong, muscular, tall men. The people around me (family, classmates, “friends”) saying nasty, hurtful things about my appearance did a lot more to incubate my crushing self loathing than any advertising campaign or movie hero.  But even they faded into the background when I figured out that I had to accept who I was and define me for me and stop giving other people’s opinions more credence than they deserved.  I had to stop using other people’s rulers to measure myself against. It’s good that we have ideals to strive toward.  It can help us to set goals for ourselves and help us to become what we wish to be, but it’s also important that we keep ourselves grounded in reality.

As a guy that grew up with and still has some deep-seated body issues I find the men’s version of the Real Beauty Sketches a wonderful satire on the Dove advert. Of course people don’t see you the way you see you. Some people will perceive you as more attractive or less attractive than you do for different reasons due to individual preference.  People find beauty in their own definitions.  Not everyone likes the same music.  Not everyone appreciates the same Art.  If we did things would be awfully boring.  We’re all part of that wondrous variety that makes up the world we live in.

Funny thing is that no matter what you think you look like odds are there’s someone out there who thinks you’re the bee’s knees.  Funny innit; how regardless of your proximity to the “ideal” man or woman there’s someone out there that thinks you’re beautiful, handsome, intriguing, dashing, sexy, whatever.  Be brave and be yourself wholeheartedly.  If you love you others can too.


That Old Spice guy still makes me feel inferior and ungainly tho.  Damn his handsome hide.





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