Dove, Please Stop Talking About Our Bodies Now

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign is 10 years old and it’s a clever marketing campaign designed to marry the Dove brand with the #bodypositive movement.  But it’s also exhausting for women because we know on a human level that our bodies are beautiful — we’re just sick of Dove trying to sell our confidence back to us with body wash.

Even the tagline irks us: “There is no one perfect shape” is a negative reinforcement, whereas “Every body is perfect” would be a positive reinforcement. And, again: We know on a human level that our bodies are beautiful, and we don’t need (or want) the Dove brand selling our confidence back to us with body wash.

We also don’t need (or want) body wash in bottles that slightly resemble our body shapes to make us feel like they’re OK and that “beauty comes in all shapes and sizes”.

As reported in Fast Company, “Real Beauty Bottles” was created by agency Ogilvy London to promote a limited-edition run of six different body wash bottles to illustrate the power of body diversity–ranging from curvy to tall, petite to slim.

In a statement Dove said, “Each bottle evokes the shapes, sizes, curves and edges that combine to make every woman their very own limited edition. They’re one of a kind–just like you. But sometimes we all need reminding of that. Recent research from the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report revealed that one in two women feels social media puts pressure on them to look a certain way. Thankfully, many women are fighting with us to spread beauty confidence.”

The most annoying thing about the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign, that just doesn’t seem to quit, is that it posits physical appearance as the crux of beauty. It’s just a tired rhetoric, one that persists consumerism and ancient ideals about women and bodies, and our confidence. Dove is presenting our “true” beauty to us via an item so dull as a soap bottle.

For 10 years now, Dove has created a world where women obsess over our bodies so much that they think we’d jump at the chance to buy a bottle with hips. As noted by Psychology Today, “Dove “Real Beauty” points out how wrong our negative impressions of ourselves can be. It points out that it’s common for women to feel bad about the way they look, and it makes it clear that that is a sad situation.”

I guess that’s really the bottom line about Dove “Real Beauty”: that it still talks about beauty at all, and that it’s still creating rules about beauty for women by telling us all to love ourselves and be confidence.

Can we live?


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