A Different Way To Look At Beauty
If you could choose anyone to represent your company or brand in your advertising, who would it be? For many, the first choice would be someone very attractive, such as a beautiful model or Hollywood actor.
Why? Because outward beauty tends to grab our attention.
Marketers are well aware of this fact. It is not just sexy brands like Victoria Secret that exploit beautiful people. All kinds of companies employ this tactic, from wireless carriers to automotive companies, from online search tools to packaged goods, and many more.
However, when numerous marketers follow the same path there’s an opportunity to do the opposite, or at least highlighting the fallacy of what the others are doing.
This is the strategic thinking behind the now popular Dove beauty campaigns. The aim is to highlight what’s attractive in ALL women.
When Dove launched their Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004, their objective was to celebrate the natural beauty of women and ultimately encourage confidence in women by feeling comfortable with themselves. Then in 2006 they launched “Dove evolution” showing how marketers manipulate natural beauty into perceived beauty (and thus making them the villains).
This campaign eventually morphed into the Dove Self-Esteem Project, which started in 2011 when Dove released the findings of a large global study on women’s relationship to beauty. It showed that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Clearly the value of beauty is significantly distorted by stereotypical archetypes.
This issue surrounding the value of beauty reminds me of a great quote from Margaret Wolfe Hungerford – something I referenced in a Values Quote video a few years ago (see below).
Imagine if we could shift societal thinking away from what marketers portray, for example by teaching our children a new meaning of beauty, so that everyone recognized the beauty that is all around us – and in us.
Quite simply, a new way to look at beauty begins with us.
Today’s quote is from Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, an Irish novelist whose light romantic fiction was popular throughout the English-speaking world in the late 19th century.
A famous and well-known quote credited to Hungerford is:
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
This statement was contained in her best-known novel, Molly Bawn, and has become one of the most popular sayings ever on the value of beauty.
As a differentiating value, Beauty means the qualities that give pleasure to the senses; and, that which is attractive.
There’s a reason many Hollywood stars are rich and famous. Physically, they are viewed as beautiful people, and millions of people enjoy watching them. Let’s just say they are pleasing to the eyes.
But in some cultures, many of the women in Hollywood would be considered too thin and not healthy. In other cultures, the way they dress – or lack thereof – would be considered offensive.
So not everyone views beauty the same way.
Of course, vision is only one of our 5 senses. Beauty can also show up in other ways. For instance, the sound of someone singing with a beautiful voice can equally move us.
And I would add that beauty can also be revealed by the efforts and deeds someone puts forth.
Doesn’t it just move you when you see someone who struggles with what we perceive as a disadvantage, and yet they’re persevering on, and achieving success!
There’s an emotional tug. A combination of respect and admiration.
And when you see that someone smile at you, acknowledging your worth, you can’t help but see the real beauty that God has put inside them.
For it’s in you too!
I think Hungerford was right. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.