THIS Is What Hinders Women. Question: What Can We Do About It?

 

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72 comments

  1. I’ve seen this before and it still amazes me how we look at us and how others think about our image. We try to “fix” in a way or another what we think we should repair, but we forget that our imperfections are those that make us unique and special.
    Thank you for coming across my blog and I’m already sure I’ll enjoy yours!

  2. Yes, Yes. Yes. YES– Just went to the Northwest Women’s Show and spent a weekend telling the Girls how beautiful they are, JUST as they are– If every woman could see herself as God sees her– if we could all see others as God sees ALL of His children, our world would be filled with the love, joy, peace, and freedom we all desire–
    Thank you for following Spark. Twinkle. Shine!! Keep shining your light!!

  3. Wow! I wasn’t sure at all what to expect in that video, but in the end a real tear managed to pop out ;). Seriously good share, thank you.

    Oh, and I already love your blog, I’m honored by the follow, have a fantastic day!

  4. I can’t fault how well the campaign portrays the self-deprecating nature of many people today (myself included!) but by the end I was confused at best.

    With the statement ‘I should be grateful for my natural beauty because…’ does the woman mean the way she feels about her looks or her looks? The fact that this is unclear is bad enough. ‘Grateful’ implies that she is thankful for what she has… in comparison to what others don’t have? It’s perfectly fine not to have natural beauty!

    These women are asked what they feel unhappy about so that we can see their delight at realising they’re prettier than they thought. Because according to this advert, beauty is “critical to your happiness”.

    The woman’s disgust at her “fatter” first portrait and phrases such as “nice thin chin” and “thin so you could see her cheekbones” don’t help either. Thinner=good, fatter=bad, we get it.

    Dove is all about personal care yes, but this is way too general to serve as a solution to any sort of problem (like sensitive skin or sweat). It just ends up being ever so slightly patronising. I think Dove would do better to remember that happiness can be achieved from qualities other than the dimensions of your face.

    1. Thanks Cheyenne for your thoughtful, mindful comment. First off I agree with you on the whole. But I would add that this is just ONE attack at ONE area of women’s issues. A 5 minute video can’t encompass everything.

      We are all different of course and I did not read the vid as you did. I saw it as attacking the women’s PERCEPTIONS of themselves as well as yes thinking that their noses were much larger than others see it or a woman feeling fatter than she actually was. Clearly for a number of reasons their overall perception was off. This would be the same problem if a woman was obese and was selling it as ‘curvy.’

      The overall conclusion was that THESE women saw themselves negatively on the whole. Not sure you’d get the same results with men, which is what makes it so fascinating to my eyes. That’s what I saw.
      I also think it is perfectly fine not to have natural beauty, but I think it is fine to have it too and enjoy it and be grateful that in this tough world it MIGHT open a few doors for you as might intelligence, confidence and health.

      I also didn’t read ‘patronising’ – just saw it as a reminder. Like I said that is not negating how you feel about it because we are all different and that’s what makes for lively conversation.
      Thanks Cheyenne.

  5. I’ve seen this before, and I think its amazing.

    However I don’t think many people have really realised the deeper meaning behind this, that probably the producers and the writers of this didn’t realise. It is so unconscious and subtle, yet solidly there.

    It is not insecurity that hinders women. It is the reason behind the presence of that insecurity about our physical appearance. In other words, it is the sexualisation of women as objects that is prevalent in our society (which is still patriarchal whatever we may think and try to compare to other countries), and which private capitalism has endorsed wholeheartedly since day one.

    The problem isn’t women’s thinking, it’s the system.

    And god forbid if any women covers up to detract from being viewed as an object to only look at, she is labelled oppressed or insecure of her body?!

    1. I definitely agree with you, How much is insecurity or due to sexualisation is much of a muchness as they are so intertwined.
      What is clear from what you stated is that women can’t do right from doing wrong. If they cover up it’s EVERYONE’S issue to discuss, if they uncover it is EVERYONE’S issue to discuss, unlike for men.

      I would depart somewhat to what you said about the problem not being women’s thinking because MOST of us have the freedom and tools to educate ourselves today and cannot keep waiting around for the patriarchal system to give us permission to feel good about ourselves. That would lack accountability.

      1. Exactly! Men could come out dressed in bin bags, so to speak, and the media wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Double standards here.

        True, I see your point there and am inclined to agree overall. More and more today are stepping up and saying no to exploitation.

  6. We’re socialized to be dissatisfied with ourselves, always in pursuit of some image other than what we see in the mirror. Images which, by the way, are touched up to a level of perfection that regular soap and water won’t yield. It’s ridiculous! A healthy perspective of ones self comes from the inside out. What can we do?.. Realize the need for new perspectives and do the inner work of affirming our personal strengths until our perception of self lines up with our words. Healthy self-talk despite what parents or peers didn’t say is a good start. ” I am smart.” ” I am strong.” ” I am healthy.” “God loves me.” ” I am an asset to the community.”
    True beauty is from the inside out 🙂 Thanks for following my blog, I’ll visit yours again.

  7. Fascinating article. It says a lot about perception vs reality. My mother always warned me about thinking too much of myself, but we can think too little of ourselves as well.

  8. Outstanding commercial. no doubt about that. And thought-provoking.
    But it doesn’t just apply to women. I remember reading some comments the actor who starred in “Full Metal Jacket” made. Evidently, he was quite the “ladies’ man,” but he had to gain twenty-five pounds to play the role. He said he was shocked by how rude women were to him. He was used to walking into a bar and having the ladies fall all over him. During the filming, of Kubrik’s movie, he would go to bars and try to strike up conversations, and he said it wasn’t unusual for the woman to just turn around without saying a word and walk away. Those sorts of things *do* have an impact on how someone deals with life.

    1. Interesting. Interesting. But there are rude, arrogant women as well as rude, arrogant men knocking about – I don’t get how that explains that this ad doesn’t apply to women. Care to elaborate Donald?

      1. Just an attempt to add something interesting to the discussion. Didn’t mean to in any way suggest that the ad doesn’t apply to women. Just meant to say that everyone is affected more than we realize by how other people respond to us. Just my own opinion, for whatever it’s worth.

  9. Ah, I remember seeing these a little while back. Enlightening and a bit sad.

    What can we do about it? Well, I never, ever speak of myself negatively in front of my daughters, ever. The word ‘fat’ is not allowed in our house (occasionally we make exceptions for the cat because, well, he’s rather beautifully large). Neither are fashion magazines, and I point out women who are too skinny in a negative way. I’ve told my oldest daughter that it’s better to be 20 pounds overweight than even 1 pound underweight because you have to starve yourself to become underweight and it’s terrible for your body. I may not ‘love’ how my own body looks but I’m doing my best to make sure my daughters do.

    Thanks for a great post!

    🙂

    1. Then you are a most wonderful mother because you actually MINDFULLY do these these things for your children instead of letting them discover the bad things with no editing. 🙂

      But did you know that research has shown that it is actually better in terms of long life to be SLIGHTLY under weight than it is to be over weight?
      Research that found an island of Asian 70 to 90 year olds who were riding motorbikes, climbing trees for fruit, walking with straight backs and dark hair, which was due to an untainted (by chemicals) diet and the fact that none were overweight. Plus there have been a variety of other experiments carried out on humans and monkeys where the subjects were always fed just UNDER what they wanted which led to lack of grey hair and ageing at the same pace as the subjects that were allowed to eat as much as they wanted.

      1. That’s very interesting! I think I remember seeing something about an island where a large number of people lived into their nineties or longer, and were active and still taking care of themselves. I think they also ate a lot of seafood.

        I think, in terms of my daughters, I’d much rather have quality vs. quantity of life. When I was in high school I had two friends who struggled with eating disorders. I remember how desperate one of the mothers was and how helpless she seemed. That friend eventually had to go someplace for professional help and she’s doing very well now, but I don’t ever want my daughters to feel that way, if I can help it. It’s so important that we show our daughters how to love their bodies (even if we don’t actually feel it ourselves. Fake it until you make it!).

        Thanks for a great post and a very interesting reply. I love your blog!

        🙂

      2. Funny you should say that about quantity v quality. I saw a woman who was about 105 to 8 being wheeled out for her birthday and while her extended family were singing away to celebrate her birthday she just kept muttering ‘take me back to my room!’ She’d had enough and clearly wanted over!

      3. Oh no! I both chuckled and felt sad for her. I say, if Nana wants a quiet birthday, darn it, she should get one! She’s earned it. 🙂

  10. friendships, relationships and education are key factors in addressing how we feel, we are surrounded by images of ‘perfect’ women, we hierarchy ourselves against these and often put ourselves at the bottom of the beautiful ladder, I think with good family relationships, strong mothers, fathers, sisters and friends, self worth is built and we become resilient to what society portrays, for many women though they don’t have the right relationships to build this, so education is the key, to allow reflection, give praise, share compliments, explore who we are, celebrate who we are……unfortunately this isn’t a part of the education agenda x

    1. Oh excellent points! Quite possibly I do not feel this way to an excessively unacceptable amount (we all feel rough from time to time and that’s as natural as feeling great) because I grew up with boys. So I was busy learning to be strong not weak. My brothers taught me how to fight not how to obsess over Joey down the road and feel worthless if he rejected me.
      My mother was a Lioness and didn’t have time for that BS either. So how do we the apparently strong ones help our sisters who did not have such a strong foundation growing up? Well you said it! Share the love and compliments. It would not be a bad idea to look at how men on the whole seem to always have each others backs as seen in the inarticulate ‘bros before ho’s’ war cry.

      1. Having a daughter and wife this is a very eye-opening video.
        Being the scientist I do wonder what the differences are between people who have the confidence you describe and those who do not? Are their descriptions of themselves different? I do wonder.

  11. Education and action are the key to everything. The more people understand how their comments and actions affect others the more, I hope, they will be more cautious. Because these negative thoughts don’t just come from one source, it is everywhere and constant.

    1. Thank you MaiVang for your suggestions and I completely agree. There is so much crapola awarded to women on all sides that needs unpicking like an old knitted sweater to get them thinking straight again and it is via education and action, mostly I think from enlightened parents.

  12. Wow, the theeditorsjournal I am not sure what to say. Thanks for sharing! How confronting. But it is true, when I look at myself I see so many negative things that others don’t even see. And there are things that others see, things that I’m not even aware of.
    I remember last year. My father was diagnosed with cancer and we knew that he would not get better. It was a couple of weeks before he died. Things were extremely busy at the office. Tried to be the best daugther and the best employee I could possibly be. One morning I got out of my car a couple of seconds before my Spanish colleague got out of his car.
    I said: “good morning”.
    And he said to me: “you know what is so special about you? Even though you are going through a really difficult time, you are the only one who always says good morning with such a beautiful and sincere smile.”
    The strange thing is, that I never knew that I smiled while I said good morning.

    1. You see? Women are usually so unaware of what they bring to the table OR if they consider what they bring it’s usually negative. On top of that they are ably ‘helped’ along by other women who encourage the overall negative onslaught of women by putting other women down to feel better about themselves. We must stop this shizz.

      1. So true. I think we could do something positive with this info. Something to inspire and/or make people more aware of this. We have blogs (not only referring to you and I), so there must be some initiative that we can come up with. Hmm, let me think and get back to you by the end of the week. Only if you would like that of course.

  13. Oh My, this was so …. sad, uplifting, moving and, sadly, true. I am going to have to look at the whole thing now. Made me think how I would describe myself, and that is quite confronting to think about.

    1. Isn’t it just all of those things? And when you’ve had a ponder perhaps you could let me know what can be done about it, because I know SOOOOO many women like this – less so men who seem to attack life with very positive assumptions of how they will perceived by others – ( a lot of the time THEY are way off too incidentally!)

      1. Think my pondering is going to take a while. Perhaps we just need to all have a session like this, to see the difference between what we believe and what is real, laid out in pencil on canvas. i can see that more pondering is needed! Not sure if I will ever have enough time to ponder the reasons we do these things to ourselves. I know my thought processes as I watched the first part were going “how would I describe myself?” and it wasn’t in a positive way! Where do we get that negativity from? Think the teen age years have a lot to answer for, certainly that is where a lot of my body image negativity comes from, and that was 30 odd years ago. Shouldn’t be like that, but those thoughts still linger.

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