If parody is a form of flattery, then Dove is is doing something right. After they released their "Real Beauty Sketches," they were on the receiving end of both praise as criticism. A formal response to the video has just made the round online and it's superbly done. Rather than focus on women's skewed view of their bodies, the clip scrutinizes men's natural ability to brag about their dashing looks.
Research show that confidence is a gendered phenomenon. Men are much more likely to self-inflate their looks or skills while women tend to downplay them. In a recent study, researchers found drastic differences between men and women's assessment of their body-image. "Whereas women relied on self-critical social comparison strategies associated with negative body esteem, men’s comparison strategies and perfection beliefs were more self-hopeful" said the paper. The next video kind of perfectly captures the overconfidence syndrome that so many men suffer from.
0:16 The video appears to start off exactly like the original Dove clip. A forensic artist explains that he will be drawing the men by asking them questions about their appearance. The men don't know what's going on.
0:47 When the first man is asked to describe his eyes, he answers: "a lot of people say they're like an abyss ... because they just don't end."
0:50 When the forensic artist asks the second man about his teeth he answers: "My mom said I had the best teeth."
0:55 When asked what his most prominent feature is, one man replies: "Probably my bulge."
1:01 "The older I've gotten, the more stunning I've gotten" another subject confides.
1:11 "I have a balanced face ... kind of like a white Denzel Washington" explains one of them.
1:15 The women are asked to meet the men and describe them. Hilarity ensues.
1:23 The first woman says: "I don't know, I guess his face was kind of dirty looking."
1:55 Another woman says: "His eyes were...(pause) rapey. If that makes sense."
1:59 "You know like something fresh out of of Mordur" explains one of the women.
2:01 The men are shown the contrast between the sketches that were created out of their descriptions and those drawn from the descriptions of the women. They are shocked in disbelief.
2:18 One man cannot believe how different both sketches are: "one looks like a movie star and the other looks like he'll maybe die soon."
2:28 "I never realized that two opinions could be so vastly different" another man said.
It's important to note that men are being increasingly objectified in the media and that many do suffer from body-image disorders. However, men's overconfidence is still rampant and could use a dose of social scrutiny just as much as women's systemic lack of confidence does. Both issues are equally problematic and need to be addressed if gender equality is to ever be reached in the confidence department.
For a splash of hilarious clips with a hint of gender analysis follow me on Twitter: @feministabulous