Who’s the fairest of them all? Well, depends upon whom you ask, according to Dove, the brand which produces women’s soaps, shampoos and deodorants. In its online video, which has become an internet hit (realbeautysketches.dove.us), a forensic artist asks women various questions about their facial appearance and draws a sketch based on their answers. The artist’s second sketch, of the same woman, is based on how someone else describes her. In every duo, the second sketch is more flattering than the first.
Apparently, company research showed that “only 4 percent of women consider themselves beautiful.” The Dove folks go on to say that the campaign is an effort “to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety.” But what beauty standard does one go by?
The whole how-do-you-describe-yourself question brought back the frightening days of college dating, circa 1965 and my experience with Operation Match, a “computerized” dating service started by some math major at Harvard. Of course I filled out the OM questionnaire that was making the college rounds. In it, you answered 75 questions about yourself and another 75 about your “ideal date.” Those answers were fed into an IBM 1401 computer that would match questionnaires with similar responses.
Days later, for the $3 subscription fee you paid, you were sent a computer printout with names, phone numbers, addresses and graduating years of six people. Like a fool, I was HONEST. Didn’t highlight my flaws, but certainly didn’t give myself a 10 for each category. Big mistake. No listing of six Adonises for me, simply the words: No Match.
Says who?! I did get a match and he’s sittin’ right here.