In the recently viral YouTube video commercial by cosmetic brand Dove, women were asked to describe themselves to a forensic artist. He then drew them based purely on their descriptions.
When compared to the sketches done based on descriptions given by strangers, however, it was apparent that most women saw themselves as less attractive than others would.
Singaporean women - We are our own strictest critics
Although Dove’s clever move to market their beauty products is a shrewd one, the commerciality of the production pales in comparison to the significance of the main message that so many in the world need to hear -- Women have to stop being so hard on themselves.
How many times a day do you look into the mirror and nitpick at your minute flaws, meticulously magnifying every single blemish that you loathe about yourself? The sad truth is that many women, especially as they grow older, start disliking the way they look.
Watch Dove's beauty sketches video commercial here:
Are Singaporean women confident of their looks?
While the common disposition a woman has towards her own attractiveness may be sub-par, it seems that local ladies don’t feel too bad about themselves. Based on Dove’s Internet survey of 300 women in Singapore, 21 percent of Singaporean women used words like “attractive”, “pretty” or “good-looking” to describe themselves. However, only 2 percent of Singaporean women saw themselves as “beautiful”.
The survey, which included a list of positive words for women to pick to describe themselves, did not include any negative words. Additionally, 52 percent of the Singaporean women surveyed also responded to being “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the way they look.
Why don’t you think you’re beautiful?
Superior than any other adjectives in the beauty continuum, the descriptor “beautiful” may seem to many like the top word to accord anybody with.
According to experts like Associate professor of psychology Norman Li from Singapore Management University, it is not alarming that most women don’t find themselves “beautiful.” He says it is a word which many believe encompasses both inner and outer beauty.
That said, however, most Singaporean women are in fact secure about their physical appearances. About a respectable 49 percent surveyed stating they were “confident” or “somewhat confident” or their looks.
Why are Singaporean women so hard on themselves?
How do you think you look?
In an increasingly harsh society, it is little wonder that we are constantly forced to be hard on ourselves and others. We are often left critiquing and finding fault even unintentionally.
The Asian mindset, too, of limiting praises for fear of over-inflating one’s ego, may amplify the coldness that such behaviour encourages.
Perhaps, it is time to reconsider our iron-fisted judgements in the realm of attractiveness. We need to cut ourselves and others some slack to embrace the way we look regardless. Think of the frazzled mum who rushes through the day to run errands for the family. She comes home disheveled and worn out -- but isn’t that the very personification of the beauty of strength itself?
While it is comforting that most Singaporean women are confident of their appearances, it is important for us to remember that beauty is only skin deep. True beauty does not lie solely on looks alone. For the grace, strength, compassion and wisdom that every woman possesses -- here’s the true beauty within you.
Also read: 5 quirky beauty secrets of Singaporean celebrities