Sunday, 21 April 2013

Self: Woman, Do You Think You're Ugly?

A good friend of mine sent me the following link a few days ago...

Take a look.

After I watched it, I thought to myself: "I don't have this problem with my looks. I think I'm okay. I could do with losing a couple of pounds, but generally, I'm okay". Is that arrogant? :) While I know I'd never make a Victoria's Secret model line-up, I would like to believe I would be "objective" about my bodily features in a situation like this and wouldn't negatively over-exaggerate them - and I thought most women would feel the same.

But then something that surprised me happened. I saw friends and online acquaintances appraise and applaud the video and campaign, stating that it made them think about their own negative self-image issues - and today it makes me ask the question:

Why do so many women feel ugly?
Is it that oftentimes women are conditioned to act as if they feel they are not beautiful - even if they secretly believe they are - to avoid being viewed as conceited?

Or do some women genuinely look in the mirror and believe they are not beautiful?

Do we unfairly compare ourselves to electronically modified models online?

Do we have unrealistic ideals of beauty? And who the heck set those ideals? Women? Men? Aliens from Outer Space?

Who decides the rules of beauty - and do you subconsciously follow them?

I know that the negative self-image doesn't apply to every woman (we all have brains to think on an individual basis, Dove!) - so I also don't believe the ludicrous claim that only 4% of women believe they are beautiful.

I find this campaign patronising and dangerous: I feel it perpetuates the idea that most women have negative self-images of ourselves (I can't conclude that we do, because we're not all the same!) and Dove is the one to save us from ourselves. Nah mate, the beauty industry is probably one of the causes of it - if anything! How is the phrase "Women are their own worst beauty critics" empowering? No! No! No!

However, one facet of negative self-image that I can relate to is that of inner beauty / personality. In a world of extroversion and self-promotion it can be a little scary if you're not good at being (or acting like) that. One thing we could all do with is reminding ourselves of our gifts and talents - the things we take for granted - love ourselves because we exist.

'Tis a good thing to be confident - and believe in yourself. On the inside and outside!

Women, we are amazing. Let that just be that.

And of course, men you are too, don't like this silly old ad below make you believe you're not. But I don't think y'all ever would. OK, maybe 4% of you might...

What are your thoughts on the Dove Beauty Campaign? And its parodies?

Is the campaign a force for good? Or not so much?

Let me know your thoughts below!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Self: New Self-Development Books

I had the pleasure of reviewing two books over the spring break period: The Yes No Book: How to Do Less and Achieve More by Mike Clayton* and What Managers Don't Know & Workers Can't Tell Them by Darren Smithson*.

Both seem to emphasise the idea of prioritisation...

The Yes No Book is for those who seem to have little time because they happen to yes to a lot. How many of us are guilty of that? The book aims to make you think about what is truly important to you, and what you need to add - and subtract from your decision-making processes to make that happen.

The book is written in a very simple fashion with "gophers, beavers and dormice" popping up throughout the book to illustrate points, it gives you exercises to do, throughout the chapters of the book.

The book will require an investment of time, but it's your life... and you want to make good changes, don't you? Is that a "Yes"...? 

The Yes No Book 7/10

What Managers Don't Know is not just a business book, it has an entrepreneurial outlook, which looks at areas of concern in managing and leading resources - to grow not just a profitable enterprise, but an enjoyable one.

Darren encourages activities such as time and personality audits. It suggests way of you making your environment better - emphasising that half your waking hours are spent working!

The book is filled with advice and anecdotes, in a bright and breezy style and is most useful for entrepreneurial managers, business owners and self-managing employees looking to make the most of their working environment. 

What Managers Don't Know 7.5/10