Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A social experiment points out how women see themselves

“Many women see their bodies as a compilation of unacceptable features – thighs that are too big, arms that jiggle, cheekbones that aren’t high enough, lips that are too thin,” says Renee Engeln, a senior psychology lecturer and founder of the Body and Media lab at Northwestern University.

To help address this concern and with the hope of encouraging women to develop a positive self-esteem, Dove conducted a social experiment that proves one essential point: “You are more beautiful than you think.”

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Involved in the experiment were seven women, some strangers, and Gil Zamora, an FBI-trained forensic artist. With a curtain separating Zamora and the women, the latter described their facial pictures and the former would then sketch the face of the women based on their descriptions. Meanwhile, stranger-participants were tasked to spend time with the same women and study their facial features. Later on, the stranger would describe the woman they met, and Zamora would do another sketch.

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It was evident that while the drawings based on the women’s self-image showed distorted representations of themselves, the sketches based on the strangers’ descriptions demonstrated more matter-of-fact and flattering details.

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The women who participated in the experiment were overwhelmed with the differences in their own descriptions of themselves and the descriptions by others. After seeing the sketches, Kela, 40, said with teary eyes, “I need to work on feeling better about myself so that people will treat me in a way that I deserve to be treated.”

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Having a healthy self-image is not something that’s beyond reach. Women should develop a positive mental outlook and realize that indeed, they are more beautiful than they think.

For more articles and links on how to enhance self-image, visit this Lift and Glow Pro Facebook page.

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