As you may have seen from past posts, Team SLiNK is very much a champion of Team Dove. Having attended a series of talks put on by Dove in Selfridges last year, a series that left us feeling inspired and refreshed that the beauty industry had a brand like Dove in their midst. Known for their legendary and experimental campaigns we were thrilled when Dove asked SLiNK editor, Rivkie Baum to try embodying their new ‘Choose Beautiful’ campaign for the day. Here is her story…
I’m a sucker for a Dove video, I really am, so when I first get the email about the campaign I watch the video straight away, I’m in the office and I’m welling up by half way through. Those people at Dove always know how to get me. Like Dove, I have tried to steer SLiNK in the direction of body confidence and championing beauty and diversity for all women but like 96% of women I would probably more often than not (read: everytime) pick the ‘Average’ door.
That’s right only 4% of women would describe themselves as ‘Beautiful’ – for all our channelling of Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’ this is a pretty desperate statistic. I often feel quite dismayed at myself. I can talk the talk and I whole heartedly believe in championing confidence in women but more often than not, when it comes to looking in the mirror and internalising the message, I can often really struggle. So when Dove asked me if I was up for ‘choosing beautiful’ I couldn’t really say no.
I had a phone consultation with life coach, Natalie Thomas, who was in charge of setting my ‘Choose Beautiful’ task. After obligatory pleasantries Natalie got straight down to business, asking me about the time I felt most beautiful – not looked, felt.
*Queue long silence*
Ironically I wasn’t prepared for that, I’d pretty much run through scenarios where I thought I’d looked great, but linking feeling beautiful to achievements and moments without factoring the exterior, I hadn’t really linked the two.
We settle on the first moment I saw SLiNK on sale in store in Selfridges as a moment that I ‘felt’ beautiful. It was a moment that I felt an incredible sense of achievement, a beautiful moment.
I’m slightly dubious I must admit, but I’ve committed and when asked about something I do where I’m truly happy and feel good about myself I sadly admit that it is when I’m at work on a photoshoot. See I’m kind of lucky, I get to turn up to ‘work’ play with clothes, hang out with my friends and leave feeling really creative and with an amazing result. So Natalie instructs me that I need to carry out my ‘Choose Beautiful’ task during our shoot on Monday (great choosing beautiful while surrounded by professional models!)
When asked to describe myself in 3 words I go for ‘hard-working, smart and funny’ – This is part my description, part what I’m told so I feel I can ‘own it’. This is to become my mantra for Monday, so I’m preparing to channel my inner sass and traits of someone I admire.
On the Friday I receive my ‘mission’ in full:
‘Be Your Best You’ challenge
Everybody has their own self-doubts and fears, but that doesn’t mean we have to share them with the world. Selecting someone that you admire for their outward strength, and adopting these characteristics can help you become the ‘best you’. Rivkie, in this instance you are choosing your best friend’s hard-working, smart and funny traits as inspiration for your Choose Beautiful Challenge. I challenge you to complete the following throughout your day:
· Every time you walk through a door, say to yourself: “I am hard-working, smart and funny’
· At the end of the day, look back at the result of the photoshoot and recognize the impact of your hard work
· Be hit with an amazing bolt of beautiful at the same time as helping someone else feel beautiful in the process! Carrying out a random act of kindness can be an uplifting and emotional tool to do this, so at the end of your Choose Beautiful day, send a message to your best friend detailing your admiration of her traits.
Monday: Challenge Day…
I wake up fully aware that today I ‘Choose Beautiful’, simply reminding myself of this in the morning changes my view on the day. I have a busy day ahead but repeating the idea in my head means I spend a little extra ‘me time’ in the morning. Just this simple act already prepares me for the day.
I can get quite stressed on a shoot and with 3 models that day it is easy to have moments of self doubt, but I do my best to keep reminding myself that “I am hard-working, smart and funny” and I have work to do, so I put that energy into making a great shoot.
I make an extra effort to be more assertive and to also not stop by the abundance of mirrors all over the studio. I’m focussed on the task at hand and making sure everything is going to plan.
The shoot is TONES of fun. We have the selfie stick out and we are all posing and posting photos. There is great energy in the studio and the results at the end of the day mean that we are still trying to whittle down the shots!
We decide to head out for a post shoot drink(s) and while by this point in the day I’d normally be knackered and heading home, I’m definitely buzzing. I spent the day tweeting to remind myself to stay on track and it feels like everyone is full of positive energy. A quick drink turns into quite an evening and my new found ‘choose beautiful’ confidence (and possibly a little sprinkling of wine) has meant that I’m quite happy to chat and humour some strangers on the next table.
The ‘choose beautiful’ challenge definitely made me more aware of myself, but in a good way. It reminded me that like so many others I don’t always champion my good points but am pretty quick to round on myself. Beauty is not, like we all like to believe simply skin deep. There is so much that goes in to making a person beautiful and 96% of us need to remember that.
The last part of my challenge was to remind my best friend detailing and admiring her traits. Unfortunately she knows we’ve been at the pub and is fairly dismissive of my adoring whats app, but when I see her at the weekend I explain and she was chuffed to bits that she was part of my challenge and not simply a late night drunk text.
I wind up at home and I’ve had an excellent day. The #choosebeautiful challenge hasn’t solved all my crazy issue but it has reminded me that we put far too much pressure on ourselves and that I find it hard to take credit and recognise my own achievements.
To start each day by reminding ourselves that not only are we able to but we have a right and a duty to ourselves to ‘Choose Beautiful’ is so important! I’m not sure I will always remember to chant my mantra at myself but I’m definitely going to try and do so more often. Just simply waking up and talking to yourself in the mirror at the start of everyday can really change the way you look at yourself and in turn how others see you.
So don’t delay ladies, make sure you ‘Choose Beautiful’ today!
Check out some snaps from our day below!