On your way to a shopping center if you faced two side-by-side doorways, one labeled “beautiful” and other “average” which one you would go though?
This was uneasy question raised by Dove, the health and beauty products company, in its latest inspiring campaign on YouTube, shedding light on women's perception of their own beauty.
The campaign entitled “Choose Beautiful” launched on April 7 arguing women to feel beautiful to empower themselves. Dove put signs above two doors in five cities around the world in San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Delhi, and shot women’s random feedback and choices. Unexpectedly most women at first walked through the “average” entrances, some were certain and others snuck around the doors.
One of the women who went through the average doorway explained, “Beautiful to me it’s too far out of reach.”
“It was a bit confronting actually to be honest,” said another. “To see these big signs and feeling like you have to choose and be self-conscious of how you perceive yourself and perhaps if it lines up with how the rest of the world perceives you.”
Applying Dove’s campaign, Egypt Independent was keen to know Egyptian women’s perception to their own beauty by asking them if they pass through the same experience which door they will choose; surprisingly most of whom interviewed saw themselves “average”.
“I think I will go though the average sign, but if I went through beautiful it will only out of curiosity,” said Marwa Samir a freelance photographer.
When asked for the reason she said that she underestimate herself very well, despite being smart, caring and strong, but if she were to judge herself based on looks, she would chose “average”.
“Everybody has been telling me that, though I’m not a person driven by people's perceptions, we are still human beings, not objects, so sometimes what people say leaves a touch on how we see ourselves,” she said.
Samir knows her appearance is not her point of strength, she believes most women in Egypt doubt their own beauty and too proud to show their insecurities, for instance a girl may know that she is not beautiful but can’t admit it out loud.
Samir liked the campaign especially it challenges the prevailing perception of “outer beauty” but according to her, the physical appearance not necessarily the right meaning of beauty because it maybe lie in the lady’s laugh, nice personality or modesty.
While Aliaa Al-Muhmmady, a journalist, said that probably she would walk under the average sign, because a beautiful woman means to be someone like Scarlett Johansson. “There are many prettier women, and people's perception towards me usually says, 'You are not beautiful,'” Muhmmady told Egypt Independent.
Echoing on Muhmmady and Samir, Sara Mosaad, a pharmacist, told Egypt Independent that if she went though smilliar experience she would enter the average doorway because she doesn’t look that beautiful.
Mosaad pointed that she does not care much about the beauty from physical appearance more than her inner beauty, which is much nobler and what women should focus on. "I think inner beauty leaves a magical touch on women faces," she explained.
"I think I'm average, but maybe one day could go through the beautifull one," said Omnia Mokbel a commerce student. Mokbel looked uncertain and hesitant while answering, especially when asked about her actual definition to beauty she said, "I don't know."
On another hand there were few ladies who were determined enough to walk through the "beautiful door". "I would definitely pass under the beautiful sign,” said Mais Ahmed a fine arts student. She continued, "First because God created all the people beautiful, and for me, I look good. I have nothing to distort my beauty like skin diseases or another thing, so without a doubt, I believe I am beautiful."
On another side Ahmed believes that everyone has both good and bad sides and the outer beauty depends on how you perceive yourself apart from what people tell you. "I have a big mouth but I love my big beautiful laughter," she said.
Echoing on Ahmed, Nada Nader, a reporter, believes in her beauty because each girl has her own personal beauty. "I’m not arrogant, it’s the reality. I’m beautiful," she said.