The first time Dove released a video for their Real Beauty Campaign, I remember feeling inspired. It presented a female model who looked like an everyday person, and then they showed in one minute all the transformations her face had to go through in order to be acceptable for a magazine cover. There was truth in that message, that we have unrealistic expectations for beauty in our society.
But-the short videos that have been released since then have had the opposite effect in my opinion. The latest video titled ‘Choose Beautiful’ makes me cringe, and not even for the ironic way Dove promotes positive self-esteem but then turns around and sells tanning lotion, firming lotions, anti-ageing cream, etc. This one made me cringe because it promotes the message that women’s value and worth comes from their appearance and how they feel about their physical bodies.
In the 4 minute video, we do see men playing a role, that being hanging the ‘Average’ and ‘Beautiful’ signs above the doorframes. What an unfortunate way to represent men in this campaign that their only role would be to subject the women to choose between two extremely limiting options. It also begs the question of why this is only a woman’s issue. Maybe men don’t talk about their physical appearance and the struggles around that as often because they aren’t constantly bombarded with the message that that’s the most important thing to focus on. I am sure there were men walking around those days, but they weren’t being asked to give themselves a label where their attractiveness was concerned.
Personally, I don’t see a problem with being or feeling average. Is Dove saying that average women are not beautiful? Also, if we are even going to create categories for physical beauty then we are just feeding into the message that women aren’t enough just being themselves.
The only part I liked about the video was the one woman who approached the set, saw the two doors, stopped for a second and then just turned around and walked away. You go girl! I wish we all had the courage to turn around and walk away from these limitations, stereotypes and labels. Choosing beautiful should mean choosing to be yourself, whether you feel average or not.
Today I am feeling average, but that is not going to stop me from living or make me feel less valuable.
#ChooseCourage #ChooseLove #ChooseStrength