Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dove Campaign: Too late for the rest of us …

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty strikes again, this time without curvy flabby thighs or pudgy stomachs. Watch the Dove Evolution video and be totally mesmerized how they take a plain Jane and transform her into a gorgeous model. This is a great example of the brilliant minds at Ogilvy & Mather, specifically Janet Kestin, their dynamic Chief Creative Officer. The breakthrough film is another attempt by Unilever to give women and girls fodder to talk about their bodies, self-esteem and that ultimately “normal is the new beautiful.” I love video, it is extremely well done … but sadly it’s a message that is too late for many of us. It’s a great marketing and PR stunt no doubt supported by the YouTube posting, but the beauty industry has perpetrated its assault on women for decades and prospering by the billions each and every year. And it’s getting worse.

My friends and I, like millions of women out there, are in constant search for “hope in a jar” be it in the form of glycolic acid creams, cellulite lotions or skin firming gels – we have been marketed to death on how to “get the look.” The fashion industry, along with those extreme makeover shows are indeed to blame for our distorted views of beauty, but at the end of the day we choose to plunk down hundreds of dollars for LA MER skin creams or Restylane injections to wipe away the ravages of time. The beauty images out there are just too hard to ignore.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to look like those flabby Dove girls. They may be proud of their curves, but I’m not. I got more “junk in the trunk” than J-Lo and Shakira combined and I loathe every wrinkle on my face. Further, what woman doesn’t know that today’s top models are completely enhanced, but you know what? It doesn’t matter -- the damage is done. Those images are burned in our minds. We grew up with the blonde perfect Barbie, Twiggy and Kate Moss under our noses and society is not shifting its perception of beauty any time soon. Sorry Dove.

I completely understand Dove’s intentions and they seem genuine (I’m sure they want to sell some product too) – but it won’t work on me and millions like me. And what’s really sad is my bone skinny five-year old daughter questions if she is “fat” -- is it too late for her as well?


Amaka Paul said...

I have a 10-year old skinny daughter as well, who keeps asking me if she's too skinny!
I think that even though the damage has been done on our generation, we still can salvage our children's perception of beauty.
I tell my daughter, Naomi, how lovely she is the way she is and that beauty is in the mind, not "of the body".... I believe she is getting the message.
As for the Dove campaign, on the contrary, it should be advertised all over the world! I think the modelling world is finally beginning to see that 'skinny does not necessarily mean beautiful'; an example was the ban on skinny models in Madrid last month.
We will get there sooner than you think.

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Totally agree with you! Dove should continue this campaign, but the message will be for the generation behind us who may still have a chance. But when media report on Demi Moore getting a "knee-lift" because she has sagging knees (can they do that surgery?), the issue of "beautifying" onself has become news fodder and we can't escape it. First we had to keep up with our neighbor's lawn -- and now this! Will it ever end?