A Candid Perspective
The video ad Dove Real Beauty Sketches, was posted on YouTube Monday, April 14th and went viral. The comments seemed to be overwhelmingly approving.
However, Shane Dickson, our ghost writer, had a very different reaction when he watched the video.
“When the older blond woman said ‘…(our) natural beauty..impacts how we treat our children…’ I laughed so hard I spit my Cup Noodles on my keyboard!”
After viewing the comments on YouTube, Shane decided to drive around the Bay Area and interview women in the flesh without the veil of the internet. He was especially interested in what real women thought about the assertion that a woman’s perception of her own natural beauty impacts how she treats her children.
I decided to venture off around the Bay and loiter at major grocery stores to interview woman from different areas. I approached women who I perceived to be from varying ancestry and backgrounds. Many women had not seen the video but just as many had. In each instance, I asked the same questions:
“Have you seen the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video?”
“Do you remember the older blond woman?”
“What do think about her statement that your natural beauty impacts how you treat your children?”
I tried really hard not to focus on whether or not I felt the woman I was interviewing at the time was naturally beautiful. It was hard, I have to admit, but I didn’t want to send out any vibes that might hinder the candidness of the interviewee. I only asked them for their first name and told them they could give me a fake name if they wanted to.
I recorded numerous responses. Here are some excerpts of the more memorable ones.
Mary at Trader Joe’s in Richmond said.
“I always wondered because I carried so much shame you know? I went to therapy for three years after I slapped my son and tied him to the telephone pole for two hours. I still couldn’t understand why I did that. As soon as I saw that video, I went to the hair salon and went back to my natural color. I have to say, I really feel sort of, you know, at peace with the whole thing now. It’s amazing, how little things like a video can change your life.”
Shine at Whole Foods in Mill Valley said:
“Talk about stating the obvious, I mean like, I don’t know. I’ve already had a transpersonal journey to fully accept my natural beauty and the beauty of the universe. So, it’s like preaching to the choir, you know? I would never use those products anyways. They’re full of chemicals. I only use products with organic ingredients
I did sort of lose touch with my inner-self after my ex-friend talked me into getting botox injections. I admit I made my kids walk to school for two days after that. But I was so swollen and ugly and everything. There was just no way the tinted glass on my BMW could hide it.”
Jenny at the Marina Safeway in San Francisco said:
“Yeah, I saw that video. To be honest, the whole thing just doesn’t apply to me and I’m glad. I’ve never been beautiful. So what. My kids don’t care. They’re happy when I am happy. My boss doesn’t care, she just wants me to do a good job. I could put on a lot of make up and try to look a little better but then that’s not really natural is it? And who has time for that?”
Kimberly at Fillmore Safeway in San Francisco said:
“Shit. I could give a shit. All of them bitches was ugly, butt ugly. Ha, ha, ha. No, but really. You can’t always believe that shit anyway. They just trying to make money offa insecure women is all. Seriously, if I didn’t iron my hair every morning, I’d scare the shit outta everyone! Including my kids! So I don’t know what they talkin’ ’bout. Natural beauty?
My kids is fine. And I treats them how they needs to be treated, you know? When they good, I treats them good. When they bad…well, hey! Anyway, that entire video, only one sista in there. And she worried about freckles! Whatever. I got freckles. I think they cute!”
Pauline at Trader Joe’s in San Rafael said:
“I just felt so sorry for that one blond lady. Can you imagine? Your mother telling you that you have a big chin? That must have really bothered her her whole life. My mother did the same thing to me, too. When I asked my mom if I was pretty, she said I wasn’t cooky-cutter pretty but I was interesting looking. I don’t think that means beautiful. I really carried that around my whole life.
Parents should be more sensitive to their kids. They just don’t know what we’ll remember forever and ever. My daughter is in rehab now. Maybe it’s my fault. I’m really trying to work on myself. I guess I should work more on my natural beauty. I just never realized. Maybe that’s why Jim left us?”
Mizuki at Whole Foods Berkeley said:
“I admit that in both my mother’s culture and in my culture, a woman’s beauty is very important. To be honest, I don’t think any of those women are actually beautiful. It’s sad that they are crying in the video because now they think they’re more beautiful than they are. Because they’re being lied to. People never really say the truth about how they feel about someone’s beauty, especially if they’re not beautiful.
But that should not make a difference in how they treat their children. I don’t understand that part. It doesn’t matter if you are in America or Japan, how you treat your children has nothing to do with how beautiful you are or…think you are.”
Tracy at Safeway in El Cerrito said:
“You know what? I’m glad you asked that. That was just fucking ridiculous! I couldn’t believe that crap. I’m so sick of these ads that stereotype women. It’s all about beauty and sex, beauty and sex. I mean c’mon! It’s a man’s world, ok we get it! It’s hard enough to find a damn job these days anyways without having to worry about natural beauty or whatever. Natural beauty doesn’t help you when you’re trying to balance the accounts on a damn business. It’s utter bullshit. I don’t have any kids, thank god, but if that chick treats her kids better because she feels beautiful, she needs fucking therapy more than she needs beauty products.”
Shane came back exhausted. He said that some women wouldn’t stop talking. One tried to invite him out for a drink. More than one shed tears. And more than two told him to “fuck off.”
Copyright © themidlifelie, HRH LLC., 2013. All rights reserved.
Photo credit: Dove Beauty Sketches