If you’ve been paying causal attention to a Facebook or Twitter feed, you’ve probably seen or even watched the now seven million times viewed video for Dove’s latest ad campaign in an attempt to change societal notions about real beauty. In the new Dove ad, ‘Dove Real Beauty Sketches,’ an FBI-trained forensic sketch artist, Gil Zamora, first draws a woman as she describes herself, and then draws her as a total stranger describes her. The difference in results is dramatic. Without fail, the sketches Zamora created from the stranger’s description turned out much more beautiful than the sketches of the women when they described themselves. “This advertisement speaks to that very universal feeling that women have that they’re not as perfect as they’d like to be,” Lucia Moses, Adweek senior editor, told ABC News. Women are their own worst beauty critics. According to Dove, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.
My reaction upon first viewing: hey, isn’t that nice/interesting. A little annoyed at the fact that everyone had been re-posting it — like every Joe Shmoe does when they break news headlines well after the news has already been broken — I quickly found that noone had anything new — good or bad — to say about it. Then I found Ann Freidman’s voice of reason on The Cut:
“These ads still uphold the notion that, when it comes to evaluating ourselves and other women, beauty is paramount. The goal shouldn’t be to get women to focus on how we are all gorgeous in our own way. It should be to get women to do for ourselves what we wish the broader culture would do: judge each other based on intelligence and wit and ethical sensibility, not just our faces and bodies.”
Then I read a really sad bit of news about nipple-darkening (it’s a thing). “A medical nipple-darkening procedure used for breast reconstruction has been adopted by U.K. women who feel self-conscious about their nipples when they get spray-tanned. “A lot of people want their nipples made darker,” clinician Gail Poudman, who darkens more than six nipples a week, told the Telegraph. “It’s the fashion.” – Telegraph UK Wowzers. Could this be linked to Beyonce’s recurring theme of nipple-fied stage outfits as of late?
So…about that DOVE ad thing… It’s sort of counter-intuitive, a shooting oneself in the foot. It whittles women down to self-conscious, self-loathing people, who think about outer appearance as top priority for having a more fulfilling rewarding life, and that most of us (except for 4% of women in the world who genuinely think they are beautiful) don’t like our looks. What about intelligence? What about health? Also, I didn’t need something or someone to tell me I was more beautiful than I thought or didn’t think I was. But then, should a soap company be delving into the many facets of feminism and the female psyche? This is about selling soap.
Anyway, here’s a well deserved laugh…