Monday, September 26, 2016

Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign

Analysing media is never easy-- especially so given the speed with which it changes these days and the many contradictory messages. Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign is no different. On the one hand, the campaign was focused on valuing alternative standards (presumably more realistic standards) of beauty beyond the ones we typically see in the media. Yet, the company (Unilever) owns many brands whose other campaigns specifically reinforce the very beauty norms that the Dove campaign is critiquing. In short, part of the criticism is that a MNC is essentially coopting the women's movement and feminism to sell more products rather than making any real critique. Moreover, some point out that even the video below (which was widely shared), still reinforces the idea that beauty and outward appearance is centrally important to women's valuation of themselves.



In fact, the video led to creation of this parody.



Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign Turns 10: How A Brand Tried To Change The Conversation About Female Beauty is a good article summarizing the campaign, criticisms, and supporters.

What do you think? Can the campaign be "good" and "bad"?

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