I read this article on the Dove Beauty Campaign this morning and I’m not actually all that surprised. Well I am and I’m not.
At first I thought their campaign for “Real Beauty” was amazing and a step forward in marketing to women. You know, the one where they show you how many hours and retouches it takes to turn an average woman into a cover-ready model? And the other print ads where they have 6 “regular” women in their underwear posing for the camera (above). The one’s where they make you think that they’re the most caring company in the world.
Well, I thought that this was great for women to see that there are others out there that look just like them. That not everyone is a cover model.
But then my husband (who works in advertising) pointed out that none of them had stretch marks, none of them had cellulite, none of them had varicose veins, and none of them even had birth marks or freckles. Sure it’s a step above the perfect looking model or celebrity, but still, they’re campaigning about “Real Beauty” and are linked to fundraising efforts to help young girls with body image and self-esteem. I commend them for that, really, I do, but it doesn’t seem super genuine. Maybe they haven’t taken it far enough.
Oh, and did I mention that the ad was for a skin firming lotion?
I know that cellulite and stretch marks aren’t beautiful to look at, but if you’re going to talk about true beauty and say that you’re showing real women, then show them. I think women will thank you for it! Don’t post an ad on Craigslist saying that you’re looking for real women, but only if you have flawless skin, naturally fit nice bodies, and beautiful hair. I know that perfection sells, because everyone wants to be and look perfect, but Dove isn’t really all that caring and isn’t helping anyone by saying that they portray real women when in fact they portray smooth, flawless, and fit women.
A spokesperson for Dove said that the Craigslist posting was a mistake, but I’m thinking that was just a way to cover up for a poorly worded post.
What do you think?