This morning in class we’re going to be talking about the connection between body image and how our media portray beauty.
I asked my students to take a look at some of my earlier posts about media and body image, and come to class prepared to talk about how these images might affect us. Here’s the link:
In class today, we’re going to look at this video:
Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches
This video was reportedly viewed more than 114 million times the month it was released (through the many places it was posted) , making it one of the most viral videos ever. In the video, Dove compares how women see themselves vs. how other women see them, seen through the eyes of a police sketch artist who never actually sees the woman.
What was the result of these drawings? Why has this video been so popular? It resonates with women who tend to view themselves negatively
In addition to receiving lots of praise, it’s also been on the receiving end of quite a bit of criticism. As Kate Fridkis of Psychology Today explains on her blog Eat the Damn Cake, the video shows “some lovely, thin, mostly white women who are all pretty young describe their appearances to a forensic artist.”
One critic points out: “Out of 6:36 minutes of footage, people of color are onscreen for less than 10 seconds.” (I might want to take a stop watch to it, but it certainly is less than 30 seconds.)
Ann Friedman of New York Magazine points out that this video still holds that one of the most important thing is to be beautiful in our own way. Friedman suggests that the message instead should be: “It should be to get women to do for ourselves what we wish the broader culture would do: judge each other based on intelligence and wit and ethical sensibility, not just our faces and bodies.”
And for our pre-class video, we’re going to take a look at how Vogue portrayed singer Adele on their cover: