The Selfridges #beautyproject has a pretty comprehensive range of events and debates happening during May and June. Friday’s debate was entitled ‘Is beauty a state of mind? based on the Dove: Patches video which can be seen here.
In the experiment, participants are told that there is a patch that they are told can make them more beautiful. They are given the patches and a series of questions to consider for the fifteen days of the experiment. At the end of the experiment it is revealed that the patches don’t contain a miracle substance – they contain nothing, but the change in mindset has come from the participants.
An interesting topic further supported by recent research by One Poll which shows that of 2000 women, twenty five percent could not remember when they last felt beautiful. This issue was discussed by a panel, chaired by Cherry Healy (journalist). Cherry was joined by Dr Kearney-Cook who carried out the experiment and has over thirty years experience researching women and self esteem. Chris Thompson who participated in the experiment was also part of the panel along with Natalie Thomas a UK psychologist and life coach and Lucy Attley, the brand director for Dove UK.
Dr Kearney Cook – or Dr Anne as Cherry called her provided lots of insight about the experiment. Referring to research that shows how you feel about your body is directly related to how you feel about yourself and that through the experiment women completely changed their perspective of themselves. She emphasised the need for women to define their beauty in terms of their strengths and spoke about focussing on our signature strengths. It was great to have Chris, who had actually taken part in the experiment give her perspective. She shared that she was very sceptical of the experiment but took part an older mom who felt like the other (younger) moms would not engage with her at her daughter’s school. She felt it was important not to pass her issues with herself to her daughter and after the experiment she felt empowered to go out and engage with the moms that she had previously considered were judging her.
Natalie shared that Rhianna lacked in self confidence and had used her service to help her overcome, advising that it takes twenty one days to create a habit so we should be telling ourselves that we are beautiful and awesome every day. Lucy confirmed that Dove is committed to continuing to work with women to raise their self esteem and one of my favourite quotes of the night was from her. Beauty is a source of anxiety for too many women – we want it to be a source of confidence. Cherry commented that it was great for a company which ‘basically sells soap’ to be so committed to raising the self esteem of women!
It was a really positive debate and a great reminder for us all to consciously be kinder and more appreciative of ourselves and the women around us. You can watch the live debate here.
So over to you – what is your signature strength?