A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Choose Something More Important Than Beauty

A friend of mine once pointed out to me that if we don’t give advertisers credit for the small steps they are willing to make toward promoting visual acceptance toward a larger number of people, they’re probably just going to give up and go back to only featuring people who fall within a very narrow visual margin – because we, the public, are just never happy or satisfied.

He makes a good point, which I admitted when he said it.  And yet…

This is the most recent ad I’ve seen by the Dove Corporation, it’s been making the rounds on the internet right now, and it really bugs me:

Pretty simple concept.  Chose which door you should walk through – the one for beautiful people, or the one for average people.  That’s it.

My choice?  To walk away and a find a door that doesn’t imply my value is based on my appearance.

Look, I know what the golden ratio is.  I know that it’s a pretty simple visual equation that indicates health and thus good breeding prospects and strong children.  I know because of that it’s a social advantage to have a face that follows that ratio because people respond better to symmetrical, unblemished faces and proportionate bodies.  It’s all science.  It’s our lizard brains talking – not our higher minds or our spirits.

I do appreciate that Dove is trying to sell products by telling ALL women that they are beautiful (I mean, that’s a nice thing to say) but I have two problems with it.  One is that the focus is still on the way we look.  The second is that it’s untrue that all people, women and men, are equally beautiful.

What I want to promote is that if you’re not beautiful it’s okay.  You are valuable.  The way we look is one thing about us, but not the only thing.  Not the most important thing.  Even the most beautiful person is going to fade and get old, and being old is okay too.  Our worth doesn’t decrease as we wrinkle and sag.  And how much more brutal must old age be for those who were told their entire lives that they’re better than everybody else because the arbitrary way they looked was so nice?  Then that gets taken away from them, year by year, line by line.  Slowly stripped and ripped to pieces.

These ads are still telling us that visuals are the most important thing – and it’s that idea I just don’t agree with.

I know I should be giving them credit for trying to make people feel good about themselves, and I am.  I just want more.

The thing I value most about myself is my imagination. That's the door I want to choose.  What do you think is the best part of you?

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