TODAY   |  April 25, 2013

Dove experiment shows women are own worst critics

A revealing new campaign by Dove that compared forensic sketches of women as described by themselves and by others shows that women are much more critical of themselves than others are. Two TODAY staffers give the experiment a try and are surprised by the results.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> well, a lot of women view themselves as their own worst critic. the folks at dove set out to prove that with a revealing experiment which we are recreating this morning in the studio. he's been drawing two of our staffers and a guest from our crowd based only on their own descriptions of themselves. we're going to show you how they see themselves compared to how strangers see them in a minute. but first, let's get to how it all started with what happened when dove tried this out in the real world .

>> i didn't know what he was doing, but then i could tell after several questions he was drawing me.

>> tell me about your chin.

>> it kind of protrudes a little bit.

>> kind of have a rounder face. i would say i have a pretty big forehead.

>> this is the sketch you helped me create. and that's the sketch that somebody described of you. do you think you're more beautiful than you say?

>> yeah.

>> well, that campaign has really struck a nerve, viewed more than 22 million times since just last week, our two staffers are with us now. and also vikki strand who we grabbed from our plaza this morning. ladies, good morning to you. and we've got jennifer hartstein, as well. and i should say to our producers, you didn't know what the premise of this segment was.

>> no idea.

>> you described yourselves as you see yourself?

>> yes. poorly.

>> okay. well, we'll get to gil , forensic sketch artist who did this for the dove campaign and recreated this morning. let's start with kate , our producer. show us her sketch and how she described herself to you.

>> here we go.

>> so the kate on the left -- what do you think? i think both are actually quite flattering likenesses. kate , what do you think so?

>> yeah, i think so. like looking in a mirror.

>> kate , what did you tell gil about your appearance?

>> it was very difficult because i was trying to think of it as if i were describing somebody as a crime scene. i would be terrible. he was like tell me about your eyes, and i was like, well, there are two of them.

>> let's move on to michelle . michelle 's portrait, what did you tell gil about when you tried to describe your own appearance?

>> beautiful, gorgeous, i'm kidding. oh. very interesting. i told him i had a roundish face and distinctive eyebrows, interesting. very interesting.

>> do you think one likeness looks more like you, michelle ?

>> no. kidding. well -- i don't know, probably the one on the right.

>> and the one on the right, we should mention a stranger described you to gil , that's what the difference is. let's get to vikki . we grabbed her from our plaza. vikki , how did you describe yourself to gil ?

>> i said normal a lot.

>> yes, she did.

>> oh.

>> i think i've got to get longer hair after that. it's very hard.

>> what kind of words did you use to describe yourselves?

>> well, i think the chin, i said everything's short. you need a mirror to remember what you look like.

>> jennifer, what do you think of this? the results were very striking in the dove commercial and women do describe themselves in a certain way that might not be as generous as strangers.

>> that's very true. unfortunately, we are not so positive about ourselves very often. we don't look at the general view. we kind of take it all as a big piece together and say this is that -- we don't look at our strengths. there are social repercussions of that, the media that impacts that. lots of different reasons we don't look at the positive.

>> the dove campaign has gotten 22 million hits, something is resinating and, of course, then, there has to be a spoof. take a look at a spoof on how men might describe themselves. take a look.

>> wow.

>> this is the sketch you create and this is the sketch someone else described as you.

>> yeah. he looks like a movie star . looks like he'll probably die soon. i never realized that two opinions could be so vastly different. that is not me and i refuse to believe it.

>> it's a really funny video. they have women describing the men as saying he looks like he might smell. he did smell. is there a serious point here? are men -- we're genteralizing?

>> i think there's a greater level of acceptance of men to look as they are than it is for women. we need to all embrace our differences and beauty.

>> ladies, did you learn anything from this experiment?

>> yeah.

>> i'm going to worry about what i wear next time i go out.

>> you didn't know you were going to wake up and be on national tv . thank you so much, got to hand it to gil who did six sketches this morning. thank you so much.