Feeling special

There’s a new Dove ad that’s gone viral. Have you seen it? It gives women two doors to walk through – one with a sign above it saying “average”, the other with one that says “beautiful.”

Here it is …

It’s supposed to send a powerful message about how women perceive themselves, but I’m not buying it.

It’s not about choosing between being “beautiful” or “average.” How is THAT ridiculous decision the key to feeling good about yourself?

But it got me thinking: what is the key?

I think it’s about feeling “special” – believing there’s something unique and wonderful about you.

Mind you, there’s a whole lot of guff out there saying that’s the problem with the world, especially with our kids. We’ve made them all think they’re too special.

Mrs Woog wrote an article at The Hoopla called “Stop telling your kids their shit is awesome” about how we’re raising a nation of narcissists:

Nowadays it is totally ok for 14-year-old girls to pout down the lens of their phone, take a “selfie”, digitally manipulate it to make oneself look even better, and then post it out on social media, for others to LIKE it, and heap praise on her for being such a “babe.”

But back in 1987, when I was 14, even if we had the desire and means to put on such a display, you would have immediately been slapped down and told that you were “UP YOURSELF!”

Apart from basically being a little bit of an asshole, the narcissistic child has got the shock of their life coming at them when they grow up and hit the real world and realise that they have been duped by their oldies all along. That they are not the most AMAZINGLY INTELLIGENT, TRULY GIFTED AND MOST SPECIAL PERSON IN THE WORLD! Hence narcissism has been linked to higher rates of anxiety and depression.

I’m not buying the slap-down school either.

I think everyone IS special in their own way and if they believed it they might be a whole lot happier.

Women in particular can be so down on themselves. It’s a bit like that scene from Pretty Woman

Vivian: People put you down enough, you start to believe it.
Edward Lewis: I think you are a very bright, very special woman.
Vivian: The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?

Yep, the bad stuff is waaaaay easier to believe.

I’ve spent time with some pretty amazing women over the past week, and I want to tell them how wonderful they are. The blog would get a bit unwieldy if I mentioned them all, so I’ll stick to a handful (but I love youse all) …

Katherine is one of my oldest friends and an Anglican minister. She selflessly gives endless hours of her week to helping others and her unlimited kindness blows me away. Not to mention the fact she still finds time to be an amazing wife and mum.

After being a stay-at-home mum, my mother started building herself a fancy career in her 50s – an age where most women struggle to maintain a career due to ageism in the workplace. She was so great at her job that she was rewarded with fancy high flyer African safari trips and holidays in over-the-water bungalows in Tahiti. Her bosses were devastated when she finally retired. Despite painful health issues, she can’t seem to slow down – even in retirement she’s busy with charity work.

Kate just got elected to parliament and my heart swelled with pride when she told me about her campaign. She talked about strangers hugging her because they were so thrilled to have someone who cared about the issues affecting them. She’s decided to devote a huge chunk of her life to helping others. AND she’s a great mum to three daughters. AND she served two types of lasagne to nine people – including me – for lunch last Sunday. I’m awed.

The single mums I had dinner with over the weekend are such an inspiration. They’ve made it through tough times and refuse to be daunted by the daily challenges they face. And I know they’d be there in a flash to help me if I needed them.

Pass it on … tell someone you know how awesome they are …

Song of the day: James Brown “I got you (I feel good)”







3 thoughts on “Feeling special

  1. You know some pretty amazing women. I bet they don’t think that what they do is amazing – they just get about their business doing what they do, not knowing that they’re incredibly inspiring.

  2. I don’t want the door for ‘average’ or ‘beautiful’ (it’s so based on looks), I want the door for absolutely fucking fabulous!!

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