EDMONTON — Growing up in India, Michelle Peters-Jones recalls the expectations of what a beautiful woman was supposed to look like.
“It was all about curves and being very plump and fair. I think fairness was really important when I was growing up.”
However, from a young age, Peters-Jones says she didn’t fit the mould.
“I was like really skinny and dark and short and I had the worst hair cut in my life, so I wasn’t really considered beautiful.”
Earlier this year, the woman who now calls Edmonton home applied for a Dove Canada campaign aiming to make women feel beautiful, no matter their age. As a way to mark its 50th birthday, Dove Canada was searching for 50 women to participate.
Sharon MacLeod, vice president of Unilever North America, says the campaign is meant to help women reconsider and redefine what beauty means.
“This campaign continues the work of the Dove Self-Esteem Project in encouraging women to think about how they view their own beauty and to see their age as something to celebrate,” explained MacLeod.
Not thinking too much of it, Peters-Jones says she applied on a whim after seeing an ad on Facebook. Little did she know, out of the more than 4,000 women who applied from coast-to-coast, she would be selected to be featured in the campaign.
Peters-Jones — the only woman from Edmonton to be chosen — was flown to Toronto for a photo shoot for the campaign, which launched earlier this week.
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“It was fantastic. I met such an amazing group of women,” she said Thursday.
“It really brought back to me how diverse Canada is and how women in Canada are so different, and they come in all different shapes and sizes, colours. It was just an amazing experience and I loved it.”
And while she found the cameras quite daunting during the shoot, Peters-Jones says the entire experience helped her open up and realize her true beauty, adding she now sees herself in a much different light.
“I’ve always considered myself quite tough, but one of the things when I took part in the project was I had to let go of a lot of preconceptions about what I looked like and how I felt and how I considered myself. It brought out in me a confidence I didn’t think I had.
“The whole point of the Dove beautiful age campaign is being comfortable in who you are and how you see yourself,” said Peters-Jones. “It all comes together in a package that’s uniquely you and that’s what I consider beauty.”
Each of the 50 women selected will be featured in advertising on their respective birthdays over a 50-day period. The campaign launched on Tuesday and will run until October 28.
Fore more information on the campaign, visit Dove Canada’s website.