A video advertising campaign by Dove, has been circling on the www, which exposed how our perception of ourselves is not necessarily true. The women participants were being sketched by forensic artist according to their own description and then in the opinion and illustration of somebody who had only spent 5-10min with them. Without exception - from what the video presented - sketch 2 was more accurate than the one portrayed by the actual women and in their own words.
How can we see ourselves worse than we truly are and compared to those who hardly know us?
Perhaps next we could ask:
How did I stop seeing the real me?
I had a photo shoot with an amazing photographer from Australia recently. I have had photos of me taken by some renowned names in the business but this was a whole totally different league - no make up artists to cover anything up and no hair stylists to fiddle with the hair to make it look the way it does not look in real life, no mirrors to check if I looked 'right', no striking poses just me being me. At the end I exclaimed I looked better in the photos than in real life.
Is it possible that this tender photographer captured the true beauty within me, which is not something I always or even often chose to see?
SO: IF BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER - WHO IS THE BEHOLDER OF TRUTH?
Would it be an overstatement if it were said that every young woman has an image of what the 'man of her dreams' looks like? I did.
He 'had' to be tall, dark haired and a set of deep green eyes were a must. I even went as far as defining certain details of his body parts - long fingers and full lips were compulsory, brilliant teeth went without saying and his back side narrow and preferably sticking out a bit - think coffee bean!
Outside of the physical requirement realm 'my prince charming' had to be clever, great sense of humour and a well-to-do guy (where did I pick up this notion that men should be providers?).
This 'package' of my somewhere-out-there-in-the-wide-world-man, I carried well passed my teens. Yet, each cell in my body was whispering something different, posing some profound questions to my imagery requirements.
• What if this handsome stallion of a man that I am yet to meet was to hit me - would I still chose to be with him?
• What if He were to cheat on me, would he still top my charts?
• And what if he were unreliable, liar, cynical, sexist, misogynist, pervert, racist, selfish, no integrity?
• What if he didn't truly honour me and didn't feel the same heartfelt honour towards all women?
So if God had a tall, dark, green eyed man who lacked inherent qualities in one hand, and a short, blond, brown eyed, your less than average in what the world brands as beautiful but tender, caring, sensitive man holding me in deep esteem, which hand would my finger pick?
Let's face it - we have all opted at one time or another for what the eye sees as opposed to what the heart feels, hears and sees.
I know, I know - a heart hears and sees you ask?
But what if heart is the machine that can inspire wonder? What if the truth lies deep within the heart - and it is there where the beholder of true truth sleeps?
Why else hand on the heart (and not on the eyes) when we swear to speak truth and nothing but the truth in the court of law?
What if our eyes were nothing more than end bits of periscope in a submarine, but the source that actually does all the 'seeing' is in the heart?
What if Heart is where the Mind is?
The ancient Egyptians believed that a person would only pass into the after life if their heart balanced against the feather of truth. Why truth to equal heart, why not brain or eyes?
"When you fish for Love, Bait with your Heart not your Brain" - Mark Twain
"Alas! There is no instinct like the Heart" - Lord Byron
"There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect." - Gilbert K Chesterton
"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; If from the head, almost nothing." - Marc Chagall
What if deep within the heart lies the truth that sees beauty which has nothing to do with how long our legs are, how full the lips are, colour and shape of our eyes, curly/straight hair, but beauty innate in every woman and each man, held deep within our being not as seen with our eyes but felt within our hearts? What If?