Dove Real Beauty Sketches ad shows difference between how women view themselves, how others see them

INDIANAPOLIS - An emotional Dove ad showing the difference between how women view themselves and how others see them is catching fire on social media.

The ad depicts a sketch artist drawing women first based on how they describe themselves, then based on how a stranger described them. The result is two completely different perceptions.

"Obviously they're a company and they're trying to sell a product, we all know that," said Kimble Richardson, a licensed mental health counselor at St. Vincent Stress Center. "But the message I got just resonated with me: 'you're more beautiful than you think.'"

Richardson said the ad has a message that's much needed. He's seen how poor body image can lead to depression and anxiety.

"You know, unfortunately, women grow up with a little bit more pressure on how they look physically," he said. "Any time you see real people, someone who's not a professional model, it allows our young women and young girls to see what's normal, what's reasonable, what's a normal body image, what's a normal weight."

Richardson said people need to be kinder to themselves and replace negative self-talk with positive. 

"It's important to quiet that inner voice that tells you you're not good enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not whatever enough," he said.

Richardson said it's also important to make sure little girls have good role models who are "real people" -- not just celebrities.

There is some controversy over this ad.

One advocacy group is writing letters to Dove's parent company, Unilever, calling them hypocrites, because Unilever also makes Axe body spray products, and those ads are known for their scantily clad, ultra-thin models.

Mobile users can watch the ad here:

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