April 16, 2013

FBI-trained forensics artist draws the same woman based on her description of herself...

... and the description of her by a random stranger who had just met her.



"Our self-perceptions are generally kind of harsh and unbecoming when really that's not how the world sees us."

This was very nice, and contained some truth, but it was produced to promote a product (Dove) and it expresses the product's message of self-esteem and self-acceptance. The film was edited, so I don't know if every example was shown. The subjects were chosen, perhaps to be self-critical. The strangers might have been selected for their kindness. And the artist might have framed his questions — consciously or unconsciously — to extract the critical descriptions from the subjects and gentler assessments from the stranger.

41 comments:

bagoh20 said...

Yea, It was nice...till Ms. Buzzkill explained it.

ricpic said...

They make themselves miserable because of the impossible standard of perfect beauty, when in fact they are all quite attractive. Well, all but one.

Astro said...

You apply the 'I'm skeptical' tag.
Yet, others here have said you are naive.

Maybe the truth is somewhere in between.

traditionalguy said...

All you women need to work harder to make yourselves lovable. Better perfume and better hairstyles are just the beginning. You need to smile better and dress better.

The NFL (National Female League) draft is coming soon, and the highest draft choices will get the best contracts.

And free agent divorcees are out there to compete with too...older but more experienced. You can be a winner.

Patrick said...

I thought it was nice, even if it was made to sell soap or whatever.

One thing on which I was not clear was whether the artist knew when he was drawing the same woman. For example, he would draw woman A based on her description of herself. When another person described woman A, did he know that it was the same person?

AprilApple said...

If the sketch artist can do that based only on what he hears described to him - wowza.

In other more depressing news: Ski resorts in CO set to close because it's April are going to re-open.

Icepick said...

Nothing about the ricin letter to the Senate?

GregM said...

You can be your own sketch artist.
see FACES in action here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08ypKBNEj_c&feature=player_embedded.

go here to download the demo:
http://www.facesid.com/temp_dld/FacesDemo40E.exe.

wyo sis said...

It would be difficult for the artist to be objective. He's there to draw more flattering pictures when the person is describing someone else.

That said, I can see how a self-described portrait would be harsher. We have examined ourselves for our whole lives and we are well aware of our flaws. A stranger gets a much more superficial look.

wyo sis said...

I was struck by how at least one of them described a feature the way her mother's had described it.

bagoh20 said...

If I had to describe one of them, I'd tell the artist to "imagine a man, and take away reason and accountability".

alan markus said...

Nice change of pace from that Dove Real Beauty series of ads with the women of various shapes and ages in white bras & panties.

sydney said...

Would the world be a happier place if we took away all the mirrors? Or would our mothers convince us we are uglier than we are without the mirror to tell us otherwise?

Lem said...

Does this Dove product include a shotgun?

Does it come with a Ferrari?

Rick Lee said...

All my Facebook friends are posting this and calling it "amazing" etc... I thought it was pretty lame.

Rick Lee said...

All my Facebook friends are posting this and calling it "amazing" etc... I thought it was pretty lame.

rcommal said...

Oh, for God's sake. Just shoot me now.

Except--don't. I might be pissed off enough to respond in kind. Probably not; even most likely not; perhaps overwhelmingly not. But you never know.

***

Icepick: Yeah. Among other stuff.

I'd LMAO except that I'm not finding most of it particularly funny.

ThomasD said...

Perhaps people who judge themselves more critically are also those most prone to putting their 'best face' forward, as it were. Maybe they feel the need to compensate for physical flaws through personability and sociability, and then others 'reward' (or perhaps remember) this in the form of physical attractiveness.

rcommal said...

Where's that redirection tag?

Oh, wait...there's another way.

Chip Ahoy said...

I knew she was going to cry. I'm over here going, "Turn on the waterworks. Come on. Come on. Come on, you're really hanging in there, ew, ew, ew. There you go."

My obsession with myself allowed a perception of myself through the eyes of others perceiving and obsessing over me thoroughly if only momentarily and described to another involved with obsessing over me, thoroughly in detail if only briefly, oh oh oh boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo the new percepts about myself are too boo hoo hoo hoo much.

William said...

They probably edited out all the women who thought they were dead ringers for Angelia Jolie.

David said...

All the sketches are of women less attractive than the actual women.

Maybe the artist does not like women.

I'd like to see his version of a very attractive woman.

Steve Koch said...

Women are so preoccupied with their appearance. It must be our (men's) fault somehow (just kidding).

Icepick said...

I'd LMAO except that I'm not finding most of it particularly funny.

Party like it's 1999 + 2. We've even had the first shark attacks of the Spring down here in Florida. (First bites at new Smyrna Beach, woo hoo!) All we need are for Afroman and Andrew W. K. to release new hit singles and it will be a complete, though faint, echo of 2001.

rcommal said...

'Pick: Yep.

Well, except that it requires a few other things, as well, to be actually complete. From what I can tell, at least of couple of 'em are being worked in and worked on, already.

Ryan said...

I still have a little doubt about this. The artist is present for both descriptions. So the artist can "clean up" the second description. To be effective and accurate, there should have been two artists, one for the self-description, another for the stranger-description.

Levi Starks said...

it makes perfect sense.
now do the same thing with men.
wanna bet it comes out different?
I still liked the self portraits of the guy who was experimenting with drugs better.

Skyler said...

I don't think I could describe my own face in that kind of detail.

I'd be interested to see how someone who doesn't have depression would fare in this test. You know, someone who has a sense of humor.

MTN said...

Well, the women all looked better than either of their portraits, but maybe their incredibly depressing personalities came through in both descriptions.

MTN said...

Well, the women all looked better than either of their portraits, but maybe their incredibly depressing personalities came through in both descriptions.

AllenS said...

Here's my face. Describe it.

AllenS said...

I just thought of something... I'm a cheesehead!

Robert Cook said...

"...I can see how a self-described portrait would be harsher. We have examined ourselves for our whole lives and we are well aware of our flaws. A stranger gets a much more superficial look."

You're failing to understand the point of the exercise and demonstrating the same tendencies as the women in the film: you assume that because we "have examined ourselves for our whole lives and are well aware of our flaws" that we see ourselves more accurately than the stranger who "gets a much more superficial look". In fact, we over obsess on what we perceive to be our physical flaws and magnify them in our minds, believing them to be far more prominent and unattractive than they are. Our appearance is a gestalt, the result of the overall combination and proportions of our features. We do not look like a jumble of what we perceive to be our most unattractive features, with all other aspects of ourselves subordinated. (Is an anorexic person who weights 87 lbs. but who perceives herself still to be fat seeing herself more accurately than those who are frightened for her life because she is starving herself to death?)

Strangers see us more accurately because they don't know us and because they see us "superficially," that is, they see the overall and not the particulars of our appearance. They haven't spent time in our skins minutely examining the mirror for evidence of deforming flaws.

The other side of this is that as we get to know people well and for their personalities, their actual physical flaws tend to become invisible to us, as we see them for who they are, not for superficial physical characteristics.

(I knew a woman years ago, a work colleague, who was quite attractive, almost beautiful, but she had a scar running down the length of one side of her face, a result of a serious car accident she had experienced in her early 20s. This scar was immediately noticeable, and at first distracted one's attention from all other aspects of the woman's appearance. It was a scar somewhat like Tina Fey's, but more prominent and running much more the length of her face. In any case, as I came to know her, the scar became invisible to me, and I sometimes forgot she even had it. The scar remained noticeable to me if I focused on it, but even then it seemed much less prominent and visible than it had seemed when I first met the woman.)

Robert Cook said...

"I still have a little doubt about this. The artist is present for both descriptions. So the artist can 'clean up' the second description."

The artist did not actually see any of his subjects, but only draw what was described to him. How could he have "cleaned up" the second descriptions?

"To be effective and accurate, there should have been two artists, one for the self-description, another for the stranger-description."

This would have completely destroyed the exercise, as the differences in appearances would have been a result not just of the different descriptions but of the different styles and capabilities of the the respective artists. For the exercise to have any point or impact, each drawing had to be made by the same artist.

Robert Cook said...

"All the sketches are of women less attractive than the actual women.

"Maybe the artist does not like women."


Again, the artist did not see any of the subjects, but drew only what was described to him.

Also, police sketch artists are not trained to draw "beautifully" or to draw people as "beautiful." They are trained to draw features in a general fashion as described by witnesses in order to get a more or less accurate simulacrum or approximation of what a suspect may look like. Police artist sketches are never aesthetically pleasing and are not meant to be.

Robert Cook said...

"Women are so preoccupied with their appearance. It must be our (men's) fault somehow (just kidding)."

Actually, this is true.

C Stanley said...

The artist should have been blinded to whether or not he was hearing the woman describe herself or the other person describing her (have the self-describing person do it in third person)

Otherwise it was cool though, and I think some of the difference woukd probably have still prevailed if the artist's bias had been removed. I was struck by the mother comments too, and can identifuy with them. I have always tried, with my daughters, to refrain from negative comments but in retrospect I think I should do a better job with positive.

Rusty said...

You know they're selling something, right?
So the outcome is exactly the outcome the advertiser wants.
Now go buy the product.


alan markus said...
Nice change of pace from that Dove Real Beauty series of ads with the women of various shapes and ages in white bras & panties.

Speak for yourself.

Jim Howard said...

I think it's a good commerical, and I sent the link to my daughters.

Dove did a better one when they showed the process by which an attractive but normal looking woman's photograph is processed into a fashion magazine cover shot.

Dove did a good thing here IMHO.

And just for the record: I am an insensitive brutish right wing wacko male who hates Alan Alda.

lawyapalooza said...

Sure, this is part of selling a product, but the most interesting aspect of this in that regard is that none of the subjects were wearing much makeup and they were described as attractive by strangers. Makeup and Dove products are not blasted as the solution, letting go of false critical statements of others and personal insecurities is the focus.

And to the people posting negative comments about the looks of some of these women: fuck you. Manage your own securities.

SOJO said...

Proof that it's not just a "female" thing is gay guys. They are often just as neurotic and insecure about their appearances - chase after youth etc. Why? They need to appeal to guys. I'm stunned het guys have no sense of this and just ridicule and berate the obvious neuroses that women develop.

@RobertCook and @SteveKoch