This project from Dove has me so introspective today*. Please take a few moments to watch the video.
I don’t have the words at the moment to explain why this speaks so deeply to me.
But part of that is because I’ve sort of started a project semi-similar to this, inspired by a chapter of bell hooks’ “Feminism is For Everybody” in which she talks about the importance of changing the depiction of women in media.
I’ve decided to illustrate the women in my life that I greatly admire.
Mostly because I don’t know a single one of my friends who hasn’t struggled enormously with body image. And I want to capture them, their beauty, in artwork that they can look at on those days when they feel like they’d rather just disappear for good, to remind them that they’re their own worst critic.
But…I’m starting with me.
Because even though I was able to embrace myself for a few short days back in January, by and large I still hate myself. I’m still cruel to myself. I think of myself as monstrous, hideous to behold, an ugly eyesore to all who know me.
I feel very much like the Beast, when perhaps if I were to step back and be honest, perhaps I have more Beauty in me than I thought.
So here’s the beginning, trying to set a style of illustration to follow through my project with. If you like, I can update here as I go.
Initial illustrative style exploration. More to come until I settle on a technique I like.
*While the video meant a lot to me, that doesn’t mean that it and other marketing campaigns of Dove are free from reinforcing the very narrow beauty definitions they decry. Read this article for a very balanced explanation of the more problematic aspects of this video in particular.