defending dove’s real beauty campaign
A lot of controversy has arisen in Dove’s recent advertisements of their products. But it isn’t their body care items that are turning heads, rather, the people showing them off. One ad that really sparked my interest was The Real Beauty Campaign where women went to a studio and were sketched by a forensic artist according to their descriptions of themselves and then compared to how someone else views them. It really is a beautiful ad that captures the negative tendencies some women have towards themselves and their bodies.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. Many have argued that with Dove’s inclusion of self-conscious women is stereotypical. But really, think about it: how many women would change aspects of their appearance? It’s not stereotypical – it’s just reality. These arguments have people asking where the insecure men are in this footage. Do you really know any men that would publicly display their insecurities? I don’t think so. If they do have self-doubts, they don’t show it, so why address it? Again, this isn’t gender stereotyping; it’s just unfortunately the way the world is at the moment. I think people are becoming a little too sensitive with this whole gender situation. If you are comfortable with your own body then well done, but obviously these women in the advertisement aren’t and are therefore being creatively shown how beautiful they really are.
Critics have pointed out that the ad is merely focussing on just appearances and not pointing out what is more important about a person. It’s only an ad, guys, it’s not a mini movie. The focus is on how women perceive their looks compared to how others see them; it’s not intending to go any deeper than that. It isn’t a therapy session; it’s just an ad to get people talking, and it’s a very thoughtful and educating one at that.
The ad hopes to mend the relationships women have with themselves. I think it’s a great initiative to get women discussing their insecurities and worries about their bodies in order to raise awareness of body dysmorphia. It just goes to show how distorted our views of ourselves can really be compared to how we look in reality.
A new Dove body wash print advertisement (below) has also caused controversy. This advertisement is of three women: a woman of colour, a Latino woman, and a white woman. People are arguing that it is nothing but racial discrimination because the woman of colour appears to be a lot bigger than the white woman shown – she is shown in front of the image of dry and cracked skin whereas the white woman is shown in front of the glowing skin that is the outcome of using their product. This has caused an outrage and has somehow led to accusations that Dove perceives culture as a definition of what is beautiful and ugly.
Dove have fought back responding against the allegations that they had no intentions of any discrimination. They just wanted to include real women to represent their products and that appearance was not a part of the selection.
‘The ad is intended to illustrate the benefits of using Dove VisibleCare Body Wash, by making skin visibly more beautiful in just one week. All three women are intended to demonstrate the “after” product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience,’ they said.
I think it’s time to put all this criticism away. It seems to me that some people just aren’t happy unless they are attacking a company or anyone to do with the media. Dove has an awesome relationship with the Butterfly Foundation and help raise awareness of eating disorders. I don’t think Butterfly would be such good pals with a company that does nothing but discriminate against women. The reality is that women are vulnerable to body negativity. Males are alike but aren’t the target market for Dove. I’m almost positive that men who are struggling with themselves would benefit from the advertisements Dove produces to help with their own body image issues. Dove aren’t a part of the media’s scheme to destroy everything in its path; they are merely ambassadors of self-love and acceptance.
You can view the Real Beauty Campaign here.