Have you seen Dove's Real Beauty Sketches video? It recently went viral and I can see why - it's an interesting experiment in self-perception. In Dove's video, an FBI-trained artist sketches women based on their self-descriptions, without seeing their actual faces. He then has people who have seen these women describe them for a second sketch. The disparity between the women's perceptions of how they look and the way they appear to objective outsiders is telling: the women were invariably shown to have distorted ideas about their own beauty and misrepresented themselves by over-emphasizing their perceived flaws.
A woman looks at sketches of herself as she sees herself and as others see her. Photo courtesy of Dove.Working at a fashion magazine makes you think a lot about the disjunction between appearance and self-perception; the way we dress, do our hair, and wear makeup speaks to the way we want to be perceived by others. But are we accurately representing ourselves? As Dove's video shows, people have a tendency to view themselves not as they are, but through a screen of built up insecurities. I wonder: what message does the girl on the subway with black lipstick think she is sending, and what is the difference between that and the message people are actually receiving? Read more: The life of an ELLE Canada intern: Travel time The life of an ELLE Canada intern: Spring fever The life of an ELLE Canada intern: Please fade out