Blonde woman standing beside two potrait sketches

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

If someone asked you to describe yourself, what would you say? Our body image takes such a battering that feeling beautiful can be hard – sometimes we just can’t see beauty in ourselves at all. We think our self-esteem is in serious need of a boost. 

The problem is, we're so bombarded by unattainable standards of beauty – in magazines, TV, ads, on social media – that we undervalue the true beauty in ourselves. More than half of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they’re their own worst critic. Our perception of ourselves is far less positive than it should be. And since we know that feeling beautiful is the first step to living happier, more confident lives, we decided to do something about it. 

 

That something was a daring new beauty experiment: Real Beauty Sketches. We asked women to describe themselves to FBI trained forensic artist Gil Zamora (from behind a mysterious curtain), who drew a portrait of them based on their description. 

 

A random stranger was then asked to describe the same woman to Gil, to see how their description would differ. The result? Two completely different portraits. The one based on the stranger’s portrayal was more beautiful, happier and more accurate. It proved exactly what we suspected: that you’re more beautiful than you think. So to help inspire the millions of women around the world who don’t see their own beauty, we created a film showing the women’s reactions to their portraits, and the impact of their refreshed view of themselves. 

 

"When I was asked to be a part of the film for Dove, I never imagined how different the two sketch portrayals would be," said Gil. "What has stayed with me are the emotional reactions the women had when they viewed the composite sketches hung side by side. I think many of these brave women realized that they had a distorted self-perception that had affected parts of their lives in significant ways.”  

 

An interview with Florence on her sketch

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More than 50 million people viewed the Dove video within 12 days of its release. To date, Real Beauty Sketches has been viewed almost 180 million times. We want the film to continue to inspire every single one of the 80% of women who feel anxious about how they look to reconsider their view of their own beauty and remember: you’re more beautiful than you think. It could be as easy as seeing ourselves through a stranger's eyes.