So it’s a big old viral deal this “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” thing.

The video was released a week ago and now there is link flying around the internet as a response (or better yet, a rebuke) to the Dove campaign. There are several actually, but Jazzy Little Drops Tumblr is the one I saw posted by my friends on Facebook. With as much as I was not that passionate about the Dove video, for whatever reason I was passionate to defend it. I think the reason I feel this way is because Dove is TRYING, they may not be perfect and have the exact amount of diversity per second, and maybe they need a better representation of the plus size market, but they are working towards changing the way women think about themselves. Those that responded negatively to the video were also trying to take a stand for real beauty and I applaud that as well. What surprises me though is that there are hundreds or thousands of brands that want to suck every last bit of confidence out of you so that you are at their mercy in your quest to find the pot of good looks at the end of the rainbow. Dove is actually doing the opposite. They are saying YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL the way you are naturally, and don’t be a slave to all the negativity. I understand the thing about inner beauty, but Dove makes products for our body. We might use moisturizer because it makes our skin supple, or deodorant because we don’t want to smell like a steamy swine. The thing that gets me about these Dove complaints is that some people want to act like external beauty doesn’t even have a place and that is what I want to talk about.

 This was one part of the Jaz’s tumblr that caught me off guard.

“Because the message that we constantly receive is that girls are not valuable without beautyBrave, strong, smart? Not enough. You have to be beautiful. And “beautiful” means something very specific, and very physical.”
I agree. We live in a glutenous lustful world that puts way too much emphasis on appearance. Way, way, way too much. But let’s face it, we all have an appearance and it is healthy and natural for a girl to want to feel valued through that as well. I’m not talking about the unrealistic over sexualized box that the culture says beauty is. But women want to be beautiful inside and out and I think that’s okay. No woman EVER wants to hear “you are not physically beautiful, but don’t worry because you are still smart and you are very valuable in other ways” BEEEEEP wrong answer. To tell a girl she is brave, strong, and smart is not enough. We shouldn’t expect it to be.  What I fear when I see concepts like this going viral is a big pendulum swinging a little too far. I am the first one to stand on a soap box when it comes to the problem with poor self image in our society and how we know that man looks at that stuff, but God looks at the heart.  What I also know is that God placed physical beauty among us for enjoyment. It’s tangible, it’s real, and it’s nothing to be afraid of. Staci Elderedge says in her book Captivating “Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful. Which is to say, beauty is in and of itself a great and glorious good.” Our culture has wanted to emasculate men for generations, I am not about to relinquish femininity just because it’s been distorted. Someday my body will corrode and turn to dust, but for now my skin is soft and my hands are so delicate, 
My mom’s smile is attractive and radiant.  
 My daughter is gorgeous with big brown eyes that tell beautiful stories. 
What would this be without inner beauty? Nothing, but I get why Dove would think it’s not such a bad idea to enjoy these outer qualities that God gives to us. 
Both sides of this “controversy” have a point, but I thought the video for the most part did a good job focusing on “natural beauty” and being open, or cheerful versus an unhealthy bitterness. Let’s face it, you could have women look and dress exactly alike, but their personality and view of themselves make them look more or less attractive. Part of the problem everyone had with the video was that they were labeling. The way I saw it was that the “ugly” drawings aren’t literally saying “See, this is you as an UGLY woman” they are just drawings of a woman that isn’t flourishing. Let’s flourish for crying out loud. Sorry for the ramble, but this a very important topic to me and I am always ripping into marketing campaigns on a regular basis, but this is the one time I am going to side with the beauty product ad. I guess you could call me the “dove-ils” advocate.