If someone asked you to choose between describing yourself as beautiful or average, what would you say? If a lot of women were being really honest, including myself, I think we would choose average. The sad reality is that a lot of women don’t have confidence in their beauty or worth. Why do we believe these things about ourselves? Why is our default answer to consider and criticize ourselves as just average?

Beyond Average 

Dove has something to say about that. They have started a new campaign to help women realize they are not just average, but beyond average, they are beautiful and they are worth it and worth choosing.

As part of this campaign Dove set up two signs above two different doors at stores in five unique cities around the world- Shanghai, San Francisco, New Delhi, London and Sao Paulo. One door had a sign above it with the word, “Average” and the other side had a door with the word, “Beautiful” above it. Dove wanted to see which door each woman would choose to walk through. In the #choosebeautiful video different women had unique reactions to the signs above the stores. Some laughing, enjoying the moment and walking through the door with the sign above it that said “Beautiful.” Others, blushing, heads down and somewhat embarrassed walked through the door with the sign above it that said, “Average.”

Confronting our idea of Beauty

It was interesting to see the varying reactions from different women all over the world. Each were confronted with a frightening reality about how they perceived themselves. They literally came face to face with a decision to choose what they believed to be true about themselves and who they are. Some couldn’t even walk through the doors because the thought of evaluating their beauty was so alarming.

One woman who walked through the average door said she didn’t even hesitate when doing it. Most of the women who did venture through the average door, women from different races and cultures, recognized afterward that they didn’t feel good after they made that decision. To see that feeling average is a negative and universal feeling among women, makes you realize we are not alone in the way we feel about ourselves. Understanding that can be the first step for women to join together and lift each other up in love and in truth about who they really are.

Through out the video there are many moving and poignant moments of women lifting each other up. You witness a mother pull her young daughter over to the beautiful door when the daughter was set on walking through the average door. You get to see a beautiful handicapped women be pushed through the beautiful door with a glowing smile on her face.

This is truly the way it should be. All women should realize their worth and how incredibly beautiful they are no matter what age, size or walk of life they come from. Every woman has something beautiful about them that goes beyond outward appearance. Every woman has something special and amazing to offer and every woman deserves to hear that. You could be the friend or loved one to lift up the extraordinary women in your life.

Choosing to see YOU as beautiful

As part of the global campaign, Dove also interviewed 6,400 women in 20 different countries about how they perceived the beauty in themselves and in others. Ninety-six percent of women said they didn’t see themselves as beautiful. Yet, eighty percent of women said there is something beautiful about every woman.

Why is to so easy to see beauty in others and not in ourselves?

I think we define our individual beauty by viewing cultures standard of beauty and then reflexively comparing ourselves to those standards. I truly believe the reflex of internally criticizing ourselves has become so natural and involuntary in todays society. Especially when every where we look we see signs, billboards and commercials telling women everything we should be and all we can think of is everything we are not. A woman in the Dove video wondered aloud that if she went through the average door because that’s how she truly saw herself, or because she is constantly bombarded everyday by the media of what beautiful is ‘supposed’ to look like.

Dove is taking a step in the right direction letting women define how beautiful they are instead of society. Ultimately, it is up to each individual woman to choose to see herself as beautiful and know she has value, not by the clothes she wears, the makeup she puts on or the size she is. No beauty is so much deeper than that. Every woman is flawless and Dove wants us to recognize this. Dove wants women to embrace beautiful and to inspire others to do the same. They are starting a movement that is powerful in hopes that women would choose beautiful every day.

But hey don’t just take my word for it, check out Dove’s amazing website for yourself. I hope you will be inspired to join the movement and choose beautiful, because you are beautiful, you are wonderful and there is no one else like you.

For more information on Dove and the beauty campaigns they do, or if you just want to feel inspired check out their website.