Dove Love Your Body Campaign
Dove launched the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 after the company conducted a study called The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report. The hypothesis behind the study was that the definition of beauty had become a very limited and unattainable view or goal. According to the study, only 2% of women around the world described themselves as being beautiful.
The first ad we released in September of 2004. The ad featured “real” women whose appearances didn’t fit the stereotypical “beautiful woman”. Dove asked the viewers to judge the women’s appearances (things like oversized or amazing, wrinkled or wonderful), and to cast their votes at campaignforrealbeauty.com. By 2005, Dove had created an ad that featured women with curves. This was to challenge the stereotype that beauty was only obtained by those that were thin. In 2006 Spain banned the use of overly thin models from runways. Dove responded to that by making a short film called Evolution, showed the transformation of a “real woman” into a model. The video showed how the unrealistic perceptions of videos created by media and marketing are created. In 2006, Dove also created the Dove Self Esteem Fund. In 2007 Dove conducted another study, Beauty Comes of Age. This revealed that 91% of women ages 50-64 believe that society needs to change their views about women and aging. This campaign included ads with women ages 50 and older that didn’t hide age spots, grey hair or wrinkles.
Since the campaign was launched, Dove has made efforts to engage women all over the world through many different ways; inviting them to challenge beauty stereotypes. In 2010, Dove made an effort to begin promoting beauty as a source of confidence, rather than anxiety. Dove has created a self-esteem toolkit that can be used by teens as well as their parents, teachers and role models. http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/Self-Esteem-Toolkit-And-Resources/default.aspx
2011 Dove did their largest global study yet, The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited. According to this study, only 4% of the women in the world consider themselves to be beautiful. Girls between the ages of 10 to 17 report feeling an extreme amount of pressure to be beautiful. This study also reports that only 11% of the girls in the world would use beautiful as word to describe how they look. These findings show that there is in fact increased pressure to be beautiful as one grows older, but with that also comes decreased confidence.
The Dove campaign incorporates Peter Block’s idea about focusing on gifts rather than deficits as part of their mission. As Block says “The gifts conversation is the essence of valuing diversity and inclusion.” (P.124) Relating that to the Dove campaign and beauty and body image, if we focus on the beauty that is in each and every one of us instead of our flaws, there will be a greater acceptance of the different types of beauty and body image, which in turn will increase self-esteem and acceptance among all of us.
However, some have a much different view of the Dove campaign.
Downside of campaigns and movements are that you will have people at both ends of the spectrum those who agree and those who do not agree. Though it would be ideal to have everyone on board that just is not realistic. Yes, we are all entitled to have our own opinions so long as we are civil about it, do not enforce it upon people and most of all cause no harm to others. In the recent light of events, Dove came out with a beauty advertisement, that expresses the slogan, “You are beautiful”. The aim of this advertisement is to support and let curvy, natural, “real women” know they are just as beautiful as women who are skinny. We are sure Dove had good intentions but people have expressed anger to the way they went about their advertisement. Dove has suggested that curvy, natural “real women” were somehow flawed and they needed cheering up and to feel beautiful despite their flaws. H&M has also been in the receiving end of the heat for featuring a plus-size model to advertise their bikinis on catalogs. You would think this was a great gesture for H&M to show appreciation and include women of all sizes. It is also a chance for H&M to counteract the impression they have of selling clothing that target mostly skinny models. Nevertheless, we should not let the opnions of others divert us from the mission.