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‘Dove’ Uses Forensic Science to Prove ‘You Are More Beautiful Than You Think’

Women know that we are our own worst critics — at least that’s what our beloved friends and significant others tell us. Now, thanks to Dove‘s latest installment of its Real Beauty campaign (and some CSI-worthy forensic science), we have tangible proof that it’s true.

Dove recruited seven women of different ages and backgrounds to take part in an experiment. Early in the day, these women were asked to spend some time with a group of people they had never met before, but were not told why. Then, they met one-on-one with FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora, who created composite sketches of them based on self-descriptions of their own facial features. Later, the artist met with the people who mingled with these women earlier in the day and drew sketches of the same women based on the way these strangers described them.

In the below video, we hear the women describe themselves by saying things like “my mom told me I had a big jaw,” and “I kind of have a fat, rounder face.” But when others are describing them, they say things like “she has nice eyes that light up when she speaks.” When the portraits are finished, without fail, those created from the observations of others are more flattering than those based on self-descriptions.

When they are shown the two sketches side-by-side, the women’s reactions to the stark contrast between how they see themselves and how others see them are undeniably powerful. The tag line of the campaign then appears on screen, reading simply: “You are more beautiful than you think.”

We know we’ve had mixed feelings and made some cynical comments about Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign in the past, but even we are having trouble reacting to this ad spot with anything other than tearful applause. Bravo!

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