Brené Brown's bio contact us speaking info event schedule books & dvds videos & articles connections certification ordinary courage blog downloads & badges classes & links downloads & t-shirts Brené's favorites


Learn more about the books!

I Thought It Was Just Me


Interviews & Videos Brené Brown in Video, Audio, and Print

  • Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    by Leigh Newman

    Can't wait! 

  • Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    by Krista Tippett
  • The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    by Dan Ariely
  • Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    by Harriet Lerner
  • Rhythm And Repose
    Rhythm And Repose

    Tender and beautiful. 

  • Boys & Girls
    Boys & Girls
    by Alabama Shakes

    Love this album! So happy when I saw BrainPicker post this on her site! 

  • City of Refuge
    City of Refuge
    by Abigail Washburn

    Pure magic!

  • Some Nights
    Some Nights
    by Fun.
  • She Ain't Me
    She Ain't Me
    by Carrie Rodriguez

    I'm such a fan. 

  • I'm Your Man
    I'm Your Man
    by Leonard Cohen

    Take this Waltz is on my top ten list of all songs!

  • Babel
    by Mumford & Sons
  • Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)

    So totally addicted to this series! Absolutely amazing!

  • Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    starring Rufus Sewell

    Based on your recommendations from a recent blog post! It's another wonderful BBC mystery series! 

  • The Good Wife: The First Season
    The Good Wife: The First Season
    starring Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi

    One of the best shows on TV. Juiliana Marguiles is incredible. 

  • Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    starring Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Lia Williams, Stephanie Cole, Ian McNeice

bird killed with axe as ostrich watches

In 2004, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty launched it’s first “real women” ad. I cried. It was love at first sight. The ads, featuring real women rather than models, were as emotional and controversial as the conversations that ensued in my classroom.

Dove defines the campaign as a “global effort intended to serve as a starting point for societal change and act as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty.”
As a shame researcher, I can tell you that this discussion is long overdue. After conducting hundreds of interviews around the country, I found that body/appearance shame is still the most universal struggle for women. I started using the resources from the Dove Campaign to raise critical awareness around the media issues that drive shame and perfectionism in women.
In case you haven’t seen the videos – take a look! Then, read on.

Pretty powerful, right?

Well, just a few weeks after I made the videos available on my website, I got an email from my good friend, Chaz. Chaz, who works for a large ad agency, had come across a pretty scathing article about the Dove Campaign. He sent me an email that said something like, “I know you’re a big fan and their videos are on your website. You might want to read about this.” Apparently, it had come to light that Unilever, who owns Dove, also owns Axe.
No way! Axe ads are among the most offensive woman-as-objects ads that I’ve ever seen (you can check it out yourself, but you won’t get a link from me). I immediately clicked off of Chaz’s email and started the Google verification process. Within seconds, I came across Michelle Gillet’s op/ed piece in the Boston Globe: A Company's Ugly Contradiction.

I was heartbroken. I felt betrayed. Unilever is like the worst kind of bad boyfriend. You know the one. You’re honest about your feelings and rather than honoring your vulnerability, he uses it to figure out exactly what you want to hear. He harvests your emotions then says all the right things, but there’s not an ounce of commitment backing it up. I hate that guy.

Of course, by the time you realize it’s all talk, you’re in love and it seems easier to believe the words rather than question the actions. Without so much as a “technical difficultly” blurb, I pulled the videos off my website. No explanation, no critical analysis. Nada. The dove was dead and I went total ostrich. I stuck my head in the media sand and pretended it wasn’t happening.
Yesterday, I received another email asking about the disappearing Dove ads. What’s a shame researcher to do? Part of me feels like firing off an email saying, “I took them off my website because Dove is a big fat liar and they hurt my feelings.”
But I’m not so sure. I like the ads. I think they’re meaningful and honest (in the sense that they reflect my experiences with the media). Is it creepy that ad executives can predict and manipulate us so successfully? Hell yes!
I know I have a part. I was too emotionally engaged (which is the definition of successful advertising). I turned off the critical thinking and that’s never a good idea when there’s money involved.
But here’s the question:
Do Unilever’s ads for Axe invalidate the authenticity of Unilever’s Dove Campaign for Real Beauty?
Is the Dove dead or is it just a wounded bird?
Complicated thoughts and easy answers welcome.

sister songs


As you can tell by the three albums I'm spotlighting (and listening to over and over), I'm in a soulful storyteller groove right now.  These albums remind me of this wonderful quote:

We learn best to listen to our own voices if we are listening at the same time to other women whose stories, for all our differences, turn out to be our stories also.            

--Barbara Deming

Of course, I hated deleting the two albums that were up last week, so I created a new page called my stuff to store albums and books after they come off the front page. It's like my little blog closet.

The artwork is courtesy of Ellen.  


everyone else has one

128px-Feed-icon.svg.pngSince the blog launch, several friends have emailed to ask about the RSS feed option. My standard reply has been, "It's a really cool way to receive notices about blog posts. You should join!"

Of course, as I'm telling them this, I have no frickin' idea what an RSS button is or why I even put one on my blog. I just figured that everyone else has one on their blog, so why not. I've pushed a few RSS buttons in my day, but nothing has ever happened, so I was pretty sure it couldn't hurt. 

I assumed that I was too old or too technologically behind to know about this button and that everyone else was busy getting their RSS on. Apparently, I was wrong. Several of my braver friends have emailed back to say that they don't know what RSS means, what it does and a few have emailed just to say that they just don't like the looks of it. Interestingly, most were convinced that they were alone in their confusion due to their 30+ status. 

So, here's what I've learned. If you want to use the RSS feed, you need to subscribe to a service. I joined Bloglines just to see how it works. The service collects all of the new posts from the blogs of your choice and collects them on one page (or something like that). If you don't subscribe to a service, RSS doesn't work. If you click on the RSS button, it normally takes you to your bookmarks page because there's a way to set up your service in your bookmarks section. I have my "Subscribe" button (on the left) set up to let you pick the service of your choice when you click on it. If you want to learn more about RSS, check this out - I think this site provides a clear, straight-forward explanation.


If you'd like to receive an update from my blog, but aren't buying into the newfangled technology, you can click on the button that says, Ordinary Courage Email Subscription or click here.  I think this is a lot easier. You can unsubscribe at any time and your email address is kept private.  

oh yea - if you emailed to ask me if it's OK to comment, the answer is YES. I love comments and conversation!