They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I only have about 500 words to work with, so let’s hope that’s enough to draw a picture.
This little experiment was done in San Francisco, Shanghai, Dehli, London and Sao Paulo.
It isn’t just American women who struggle with self-concept. Women from these five major global cities stood outside the doors contemplating which word fit them best. In most cases, they ended up walking through the door that signified they thought of themselves as average.
Halfway through the video, something really piqued my interest. Women with their daughters or friends literally stopped, changed courses, and urged the person next to them to walk through the Beautiful door. They chose to put their own self-conscious feelings aside to instead remind their companion that they are indeed beautiful. In that one moment, the women chose kindness.
One mother interviewed said she wished all young girls would see themselves in a more positive and powerful light. That’s why she wouldn’t let her daughter walk through the Average door.
Another woman who was pushing a friend in a wheelchair stopped and veered over to the Beautiful door when she realized she was about to walk through Average. She wanted her friend to know she thought she was beautiful.
I have a friend who is struggling with some major stress right now. She says at the end of the day, all she wants to do is drown her exhaustion in potato chips. She is feeling fat and ugly. Neither of those words fit her in the least.
Not sure how to lift her spirits, I simply sent her a text that said, “You are beautiful. I just thought you should know that, since clearly the enemy has been filling your head with lies.”
This is not even about physical beauty. It’s about seeing yourself as you truly are: wonderfully made, a miraculous creation both inside and out.
But often we can’t see that for ourselves. That’s where kindness comes in. It takes nothing, we sacrifice nothing, we lose nothing, by telling someone we think they are worth more than whatever this world is offering them.
Some people live in homes where they are constantly surrounded by love and uplifted with positivity, but some people don’t. You may be the only person who ever thought to tell a friend or stranger that they are special.
That’s powerful. That’s kind. That’s beautiful.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
If you would like to see the Choose Beautiful video, go to dove.us/choosebeautiful. And remember, you are beautiful.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.