Dove Real Beauty Campaign
In the summer of 2005, six women made national news when they appeared on a Times Square billboard in the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, dancing in only in their underwear. Other nearby billboards featured actresses and supermodels, but this one promoted real women with real curves and the nation went wild. Stacy Nadeau was one of those women. Dove’s mission was To widen the stereotypical theme of beauty making more women feel beautiful every day and inspiring women to take great care of themselves.
Apparently, the mission worked, especially for Stacy! She shares that everyone has an inner critic and she had to just let go of her reservations when modeling in her underwear. She took the principles she learned in the campaign to focus on helping others feel good about themselves with confidence. Here, we will approach confidence in three areas: your capability, your body and your mental health.
Confidence in Your Capability
With increased opportunity comes the revelation of untapped capabilities. This doesn’t happen for everyone, but it happened with Stacy when she was on her Dove Real Beauty Campaign media tour appearing on the Today Show, CNN, Ellen, Dr. Phil, Tyra, and Oprah. She found she was good on the interview stage and soon became the lead interviewer for her team, which meant she represented the campaign.
That capability wouldn’t have come out without the opportunity. Part of the beauty about the campaign was that the models, who didn’t think of themselves as models, forgot about themselves and just had fun with each other. As they danced around to the music, the photographer caught that feeling of authenticity and fun. That sense of real made the campaign a huge success.
Stacy found that confidence isn’t something you find at the top of a mountain, it is found in the capability each one of us holds inside ourselves. It takes developing trust in what we can personally do and the only way we can find our personal capabilities is to test it out. If you don’t take that risk or take that chance, you will never find what you are truly capable of.
One of the best ways to approach something new is to set up a step by step process. Establishing a tiny habit that is easy and connected to an activity you are already performing is a powerful tool to get you where you want to go! You can’t put this off. So many put it off and are in the same place at the same time next year, so start now!
Confidence in Your Body
Dove chose normal women who did not think of themselves as models and put them on a huge billboard picturing them in their underwear. This was a revolutionary idea and took saying yes from those who participated. With normal ads that feature women size 0 or 2, seeing young women in big-girl underwear move on a stage communicated to many women that they could do the same, no matter how they looked.
Stacy’s body changed since doing the ad as a size 10. She is currently a size 14, which she feels good about. Extra pounds are normally more difficult to take off after having kids and as we get older, which many readers will affirm. Stacy is comfortable at a size fourteen and she works her body out three to five days a week in short spurts. Morning routines are about twenty minutes and night about ten.
She defines her workouts as a healthy movement routine. The focus is on feeling as good as possible and not just whipping the body into shape to fit into a certain mold, which is a healthy mindset. She also emphasizes putting good food into your body yet being able to enjoy a beautiful glass of wine. It is important to set up a good routine or system for your overall health. Start small, but start! (see: importance of diet and exercise)
Confidence in Your Mental Health
Feeling good about your body is just one segment of a healthy mental outlook. Breathing techniques are included in Stacy’s morning routine. With mental health disorders rampant in today’s society, deep breathing exercises allow one to find relief from anxiety and depression in a safe and healthy way. Stress can exacerbate your body’s pain response with the tension it creates.
Stopping to breathe deeply, all the way through the abdomen to your lower belly, helps to relieve that stress. Part of many meditation programs include deep breathing. When teaching voice, which I did for many years, I had students lie face up on the floor and expand the belly area with their breath. It’s becomes harder to lift the shoulders in this position. (see Breathing Techniques) If you watch a baby breathe while sleeping, you will see the lower belly expand. This is the ideal breath. The deep breath sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
Another very valuable principle for your good mental health is journaling. In the book The Summit, our protagonist Mallery is given a journal she is to write in every day of her journey to Hero Mountain®. It helps her to sort out her thoughts and reflect on how far she’s come, especially when discouraged. Journaling also helps to set personal boundaries for yourself and others. Those boundaries will help you develop more confidence in your capabilities and your decisions going forward.
The Value of Confidence
Whether or not you are ever called upon to dance in your underwear in front of a camera, you can still develop the confidence in your capabilities, in your body and in your mental outlook. That confidence has the power to change your life for the better, though you may not recognize it at the time. It’s almost like watching your kids grow. You see their growth more vividly by the marks you place on the wall growth yardstick year after year.
Get to know your inner critic, or inner voice that tells you no, you can’t do that. Change that language to yes with a consistent step by step process or tiny habit to test out anything new. Good books to read are: Tiny Habits and Atomic Habits. If you never start, you’ll never know where that process could take you! All it takes is ten minutes or less every day to get going so don’t put it off one more minute!
Confidence has the power to change your life for the better.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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