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Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Sketches Change Women’s Image of Themselves

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK)-- We’ve all heard the expression that we’re our own harshest critic, and a revealing new Dove campaign is giving new insight as to why.

In the new Dove ad, an FBI-trained forensic sketch artist, Gil Zamora, first draws a woman as she describes herself, and then draws her as a total stranger describes her. The difference in results couldn’t be more dramatic.

Without fail, the sketches Zamora created from the stranger’s description turned out much more beautiful than the sketches when the women described themselves.

“This advertisement speaks to that very universal feeling that women have that they’re not as perfect as they’d like to be,” Lucia Moses, Adweek senior editor, told ABC News.

Fascinated by this social experiment, ABC News decided to conduct its own comparative sketches with the help of Good Morning America intern Kimberly, and Bethany, a lawyer from New York City -- two strangers who were only briefly introduced to each other without giving away any premise of the story.

Bethany described herself to Zamora using phrases like, “I think I have big earlobes,” “I have freckles.  They’re all over my cheeks and my nose,” and “My top teeth go in front of my bottom teeth.”

However, when Kimberly described Bethany, she made comments such as, “They were nice ears,” “[She had] Thick hair, full hair.  It was nicely styled,” and “She had a small-sized nose.”

Kimberly, in a nutshell, described Bethany as very pretty.

“I think I’m average looking,” Bethany told ABC News.

And when asked what Bethany’s biggest insecurities about her looks were, she replied, “My nose,” and “Definitely weight, I would say like most women.”

Interestingly enough, the first thing Kimberly said when she was describing Bethany was that she was trim.

“It’s definitely true that we’re our own worst critics,” said Bethany.  “I’m not surprised knowing myself that I perseverated on my nose, but it makes me feel really good that other people don’t perceive me that way.”

The women who took part in the Dove ad were paid, but apparently they didn’t know what the point of the social experiment was until after it was complete.  The slogan for this particular campaign is, “You are more beautiful than you think.”

Since its release, The Dove ad has had more than seven million views on YouTube.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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