In a recent Dove ad, an FBI forensic artist sketched a series of women based purely on the way they described themselves and again as others described them. The artist could only hear their voices, not see their faces.
A video about the experiment, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 22 million times and counting, revealed stark difference between the way the women saw themselves and the way others saw them. Across the board, the self-described portraits were the least attractive — suggesting, according to the Dove marketing team, that we are all more beautiful than we think we are.
So, why can’t we see ourselves as we really are?
The bulk of research on self-perception has focused not on facial features but on body image, but the two are related. And research suggests that culture plays a major role in what we consider beautiful and how we think we stack up to others, said Rachel Salk, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
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