Architecturally speaking, a door is a merely a structure; sounds simple, right?
Call us metaphorical or a tad melodramatic, but we do anything but objectify this rectangular passageway that gets us from one side of life to the other.
From locking away the past to choosing a new future, we make doors our allegorical playground each day we’re faced with a decision.
Dove’s recent #ChooseBeautiful campaign inspires women to choose a door with a title that resonates with them most, sparking a not-so-surprising reality check.
In case you’ve missed the soap brand’s viral video, Dove set up labeled entrances in Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Delhi, London and San Francisco, which prompted women to walk through one of two doors: one marked “beautiful” and the other “average.”
While disheartening, the fact that a majority of women would choose the “average” pathway is unsurprising.
According to PopSugar, the video is based on a statistic released by Dove stating that 96 percent of women wouldn’t describe themselves as beautiful.
It’s a travesty, but not far off from the norm.
The internal conflict seen on the faces of most women forced to choose is a stark one; while some women tried to rush through the “average” door unnoticed, one woman even walked away.
Dove, the beauty do-gooder known for promoting body confidence, has seen some heavy backlash over the years.
Critics can’t help but note that the soap brand’s owner is Unilever, the company behind less-than-pleasing brands like Slimfast, Axe and Fair & Lovely skin whitening cream.
While Unilever is responsible for brands that practically oppose self-acceptance and advertise misogyny, should Dove be held responsible for branding that isn’t necessarily its own?
Dove may sell skin products like cellulite cream meant to fix imperfections; however, should we all take out our pitchforks and scream “hypocrite?”
I think not. While people feel the #ChooseBeautiful campaign may be a contrived advertising ploy, I feel it’s bringing attention to a conversation we each need to have with ourselves.
The campaign is challenging the titles we often subconsciously identify with, and forcing us to realize how these decisions are affecting our self-worth.
The beauty industry has birthed unrealistic standards in the past; why judge brands that seek to negate those standards and replace them with positivity?
Dove said in a statement featured on Mashable:
Women make thousands of choices each day — related to their careers, their families, and, let’s not forget, themselves.
Feeling beautiful is one of those choices that women should feel empowered to make for themselves, every day.
Pretty bulletproof concept worth adopting, right?
As I prepared myself to write this article, I had to convince myself I’d choose the ‘Beautiful’ door.
In my morning routine of hopping on the scale, dissecting my features, struggling to find a well-fitting outfit and generously covering each and every blemish with a mask of foundation, it took more convincing than I’m proud of.
If faced with the option to choose, would I dare to be beautiful? I want to say yes and I sincerely hope you would, too.
Here’s what we can learn from the women of Dove’s #ChooseBeautiful campaign:
Women can have long-term regrets for deeming themselves “average.”
“It was my choice,” said one woman. “And now I will question myself for the next few weeks or months.”
While we make that choice each time we look in the mirror, having to face yourself on a public platform and be 100 percent realistic in evaluating your worth is different.
Confrontation is scary, but important.
One woman noted it forces you to be honest and “be self-conscious with how you perceive yourself and perhaps if it lines up with how the rest of the world perceives you.”
Confrontation can be terrifying, but it can point us in the right direction.
In honor of the ever-so-popular #EffYourBeautyStandards trend, let’s put more weight on our perception and worry less about what society thinks.
Some women feel beauty is too difficult to achieve.
Women openly admitted to feeling like being beautiful is too far from what’s attainable.
This is the saddest realization in the video, since beauty means something unique to each of us. Each woman in the video is a gorgeous human being, but my opinion isn’t theirs.
Beauty transcends our appearance.
Beauty is far deeper than our cellulite, dress size, skin type and any other common denominator keeping us from claiming our keep in a world driven by image. Beauty is found in the ability to show compassion, kindness, hilarity, joy and love.
People who walked with confidence felt a certain air of triumph.
The women who admitted to choosing “beautiful” felt powerful and joyous in their decisions; just look at their winning smiles and embrace that confidence. It can be contagious.
Our actions make us beautiful.
What struck me more than any woman walking through the door alone, were the women entering together.
Women encouraging one another to choose the bolder choice reinstates the idea that beauty is more than what we tell ourselves it is.
A friend encouraged her peer that she belonged in the better path. A mother grabbed her daughter and pulled her through the beautiful side to ensure her worth. Sometimes, our friends and family act as mirrors, taking us for all that we are.
Most importantly, mirrors reflect the things you don’t see in yourself when standing on your own.
Dove’s #ChooseBeautiful proves that the paths we take with confidence will auspiciously lead us to better things.
This article was authored by Jillian Goltzman for Elite Daily.