Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Self Perception

I have this thing.... Every time I leave or come into the country and have to go through customs at the airport, I get weird. I have never done drugs in my life, but in that moment with the customs officer, I feel like I have an 80 lb bag of heroin in my purse and I am on the brink of going to a nasty prison in Kuwait for the rest of my life where they only let you shower once a month and you eat cockroaches and roots for every meal. When they ask for my passport, my heart starts beats rapidly. When they ask me why I am coming into the country, I freeze up and stutter as I say a very unconvincing, "Um....Vacation?.." When they look at me to compare my picture on my passport to the real life version of me, I start to smile like a fool and my eyes squint up.

Why do I do this?? I really have no idea... I have nothing to hide... I've never committed  a crime. I have no warrants out for my arrest. And I have absolutely no reason why a customs authority would want to take me into custody or question my intentions of entering the country. I try so hard to make my image acceptable to them so they will think I am just a sweet little American girl traveling for leisure. When in reality... I could just be myself and they would know that I am not smuggling drugs, guns or small children across the border.

So.. where am I going with all of this? Wellllll..... Dove recently launched a Self Perception campaign and this story came to my mind. I spent so much time and energy convincing these customs officers that I was legit, when I actually was legit and didn't need to spend any energy or do any convincing. I was so worried about what they thought of me. This example, although funny, is very far fetched but still makes a strong point. I find myself wondering what people around me think about me... about the way that I dress..about the way that I present myself...about the way that I do work... etc etc. I waste alot of time picking out flaws in myself...

1. My forehead is pretty big.
2. My teeth are kind of small.
3. I have man hands.
4. My hair is weird.
5. I have a man voice.
6. I like weird decor, music and style.

The list could go on and on.... but get this....when I asked someone else about these flaws, they said they had never even noticed or considered these things... they had never thought those things and upon me pointing them out, they still thought they were absurd.  So... what does this mean? I have a very skewed view of myself.

Most people do.

Dove recently posted this video. I know it is long, but it is truly beautiful and I urge you to watch it until the end. They had a sketch artist draw two pictures of each of the women in the video. One of these sketches was described to them by the person themselves and one was described by a total stranger. The difference in the sketches is stunning. I MAY have even cried a little when watching it... but I cry alot, so shut your mouth. Please watch it.

We waste alot of time looking at our flaws when we should spend that precious time embracing our beautiful traits.

We are much more beautiful than we think.

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