Why The New Dove Real Beauty Campaign Video Is Less Than Perfect
I (reluctantly) admit it: I am one of the many women who teared up watching the new Dove Real Beauty campaign’s “Beauty Sketches” video:
As a 20-year-old college student who, like many (most? All?) other women my age, has struggled with body image for years, the prevailing message of the video – you are more beautiful than you think and other people think so, too – was too enticing to resist. Under the influence of this video, I immediately began calculating how many minutes of time spent putting on make up I could reappropriate for sleeping now that I am apparently more beautiful than I think I am. Because, yes, as a college student that’s where my mind went first.
But more than that, watching that video I just felt…relieved. …
There’s Nothing Real About These “Real Beauty” Campaigns
Although at first it appears that companies like Dove and Bare Minerals have taken a step in the right direction by running “Real Beauty” campaigns, there’s often nothing real about them.
When I see an ad that claims to feature real women, yet the woman are still remarkably flawless, it doesn’t do a whole lot for me. At least when I see a model in an advertisement I can tell myself that the way she looks is fake, enhanced by photo shop, and probably required harmful eating practices. When I see an ad that claims to be “real” or represent “average women,” yet not a single woman weighs over 140 pounds (the average weight of an American woman) I can’t help but feel as if I’m imperfect, and the rest …
Saturday Vids: In Honor of the Endangered Species Summit
Today, I’m honored to report that I’m one of the panelists for the New York City branch of the Endangered Species Summit - an international summit occurring during March 2011. The aim of the summit, as the London branch put it, “is to save future generations of girls from the misery that turns women against their own bodies. The challenge – to make people understand how and why this is an emergency, to show them how they can do something about it, and to inspire them to embrace change.”
In honor of the summit, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite videos on the topic of body image (and how generally fucked up it is in our society).
You live in a world where, from a young age, girls are taught that their appearance is valued above anything else. Girls must live up to this standard or the ridicule that follows will be a deserved consequence.
“Too much advertising depicts women, and to a lesser extent men, as just pretty objects. Flip through the pages of Vanity Fair or even GQ, and you can’t help but feel all there is to life is pouting your lips, sucking your cheeks in, and looking pretty. Preferably with an off-camera fan blowing your generously conditioned locks,” says Paul Venables, founder of the San Francisco advertising agency Venables Bell & Partners. He’s talking about the growing societal problem that is the objectification of women. We need more realistic and positive images …
And there you have it. Axe is just so enticing, women revert to their animalistic instincts, beating off each other, running miles, just to reach this delicious piece of man meat. I’m actually surprised that they’re wearing bikinis. Why not go the whole way and just have them be naked?
Where’s that subtler sexism I’m getting so used to now? You know, the kind where there’s no doubt in your mind it’s sexist, but it’s not as easy to convince people about it as you’d think. Not true for this commercial. Axe has brought back the good old sexism we were just getting around to missing: mass numbers of blatantly sexualized women craving just one studly guy.
The biggest problem with this commercial is it falls into that category of: Why Can’t Feminists Ever Take a Joke? I’ve tried to talk about this commercial with guys. It’s always “they’re just kidding,” or, “it’s not like it’s real, it’s just a fantasy, so what’s the problem.” …