Every day I go through the average door. But yesterday was a unique day. So I chose to go through the beautiful one.

Therein lies the power of Dove’s new inspirational ad campaign. (They’ve been quietly setting a new precedent when it comes to ads about beauty and women, Dove. I love it and I don’t think the media talks about this initiative enough.) In this video, women in different countries are presented with two entryways in front of buildings they’re walking into: Average or Beautiful. The images are immediately powerful. Some women stand before the doors and visibly wonder where to go. Some hesitate. One woman simply walks away, deciding not to choose either. Some, without hesitation, walk through the Average door and later discuss how sad their choice made them feel. Interestingly enough, these are all beautiful women, and those that walk through the Average door boggle the mind, especially those that society would say are “traditionally” beautiful. Says a lot about how, ultimately, a woman feels about herself.

There was a moment that got me, of course, right in the center of the chest and elicited my tears. (At 1:55). This woman’s quote is the one I provided above. It spoke to me because 10 years ago, had I been standing before those doors, I would have chosen “Average” in a heartbeat. My choices would have been related to not wanting to appear vain; related to what I would assume society thought of me; related to visions of what people standing nearby would whisper about the average girl having the audacity to walk through the beautiful door. Such was my world back then. I’ve talked about it at length here; I grew up in a dark place as a young woman, racked with low self-esteem, low self-worth, low everything. So that’s why it got me. I imagined myself 10 years ago and like this beautiful woman expresses, it would have been another day going into door Average.

But then, like her, I felt joyful. Because right now, this very moment, had I stood before those doors? Having worked on myself and owning who I am as a woman, a person, a human being? I would have chosen “Beautiful.” Without hesitation.

I hope you would, too.

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