[Glossed Over] Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign

Glossed Over: Where we take a closer look at what beauty advertisements are really selling.


Oh, I just can’t make up my mind about Dove.

On the one hand, I completely get Bitch Blog’s “but they sell beauty products!” response over here. It is awfully pot-calling-the-kettle-black (or in this case, freckled and full-figured?) for a beauty company to decry our society’s unrealistic standards of beauty, especially when they’re dumb enough to do it via heavy retouching.

But at the same time, I guess I’m happy that any girl channel surfing tonight between the starving artists of Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives might glimpse a few normal-looking ladies in the mix. It seems a little like Wal-Mart branding itself as green. Sure, it makes Michael Pollan grouchy, but when ginormous corporations do something a little bit good, it’s better than when ginormous corporations do everything bad.

What do you think? Is Dove part of the problem or the solution?



Filed under Glossed Over.

9 responses to “[Glossed Over] Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign

  1. Amy

    I am thinking it’s better than nothing because while it would be better if they were actually authentic in their efforts (sans retouching), getting a few more “normal” female bodies out in the advertising world is a good thing.

  2. Dan

    While I agree it’s better than nothing, it’s still at base only a beauty company trying to capture a larger share of the beauty market. If data was released that somehow showed this campaign decreased sales, they’d stop it in a heartbeat. And also, these are still not-unattractive people they’re featuring. If they included some truly non-traditional looking people, not just slightly older/larger, I’d be more convinced.

  3. accountantgrrl

    When the Dove Campaign first came out, they had some of the models on Oprah in just their underwear, so there was no chance of re-touching there.

    The possibility of there been re-touching done on the photos in the ad campaign would definitely make me think twice about this campaign.

    I do give them credit for offering materials for groups to teach girls about self-esteem on their website though….even though they are selling beauty products.

  4. Also, I’m not entirely sure that just because a company sells beauty products, they can’t decry the problem of unrealistic beauty standards or images. Some days I wear mascara and eyeliner, other days I don’t. But I don’t think that by occasionally giving my thin lashes a boost, I’m participating in the problem. (Or am I?)

    That said, I agree with Dan: If the campaign messed with the bottom line ($$$) — it would be done with.

  5. I see both sides, but I do think something’s better than nothing. And those “this is how retouching works” ads are really compelling/effective, and the first ones to make it out there in a big way to show girls how it really goes behind the camera. I’m for that.

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