spectating participant


July 23, 2005

Dove’s campaign for beauty

Filed under: news — suzanne henderson @ 9:32 am

Dove’s Campaign for Beauty is a series of ads featuring “real women” with real curves. A new marketing strategy also aimed at increasing women’s self esteem and responding to women’s requests that companies start featuring realistic women in their ads. They used six women, none of them models, to pose for their newest campaign and it seems to cause a great bit of stir. However, it seems that some people, a lot of people, don’t feel that real women should be advertised as beautiful. For them, air brushed super models are the only way to go, regardless of how unrealistically attainable their beauty is or of the negative social implications that it places on young women, teenagers, and preteens.

In Dove ad campaign a real knockout , a Chicago Sun-Times report states:

One word comes to mind when I see those Dove ads — disturbing. And disturbing quickly morphs into frightening when I see the ad while waiting for the L at the Merchandise Mart. There — in all of their 4-foot-high glory — are the ladies of Dove more lifelike than I’d like to see in my advertising.

Really, the only time I want to see a thigh that big is in a bucket with bread crumbs on it (rim shot here).

I seems a few other fellow reporters at the Chicago Sun-Times also jumped on the bandwagon, screaming out their distaste of “disturbing” ads by Dove. It looks like there are people out there ready to call them on it too:

The Chicagoist take on the Sun-Times writers:

Excuse us, but what the fuck gentlemen? Did a woman with a little junk in her trunk break your hearts? What the hell is it to you if a company uses women who have a tummy to sell their product in their underwear? It isn’t that Chicagoist thinks we should each subscribe to some carbon-copied ideal of what is considered beautiful—what melts your butter is what melts your butter, after all.

But that’s not what this is about. This is about your use of the words “unsettling” and “disturbing” followed by other choice terms such as “chunky.” This is about you three excusing yourselves for your ignorance with some lazy argument centering on you just being “a man.”

The ads are causing a stir in the media but they are also causing a stir among women. There is the complaint and recognition that dove is using this campaign to sell yet another fat-product, “firming cream”. Who buys this stuff? While I applaud the use of real women with real curves, because I like to applaud my own every now and then, I still know that beauty companies still have their bottom line in mind. Even while graciously promoting the boosting of self-esteem of women, it is still a mixed message when it is a product the reminds us that while we should feel more comfortable in our skins, it still isn’t good enough.

Aww, beauty and the media, something that will probably never go hand in hand, because it is in the eye of the beholder and our society has a long way to go to reverse the guerrilla marketing that has forced wafer thin models into our definition of beauty. And, as the country fights the ever increase battle of weight and obseity, it may never happen. When so many people are making new belt holes, that impossible ideal will probably grow stronger and further enforce those expanding waist lines, because, if size 1 is what it takes to be beautiful, why bother trying to lose weight if you know you’ll never look that good?