Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty is going to be a real lightbulb moment for many women. You aren't as butt ugly as you think you are. We always obsess about the weight we've gained, the giant zit that pops up out of nowhere and stays for weeks or how wrecked our hair has become. At the end of the day, no one notices. No one is judging you. They remember you for your actions, your heart, your smile. But the extra five pounds? No one gives a shit except you. And the flip side of this coin? No matter how many times you hear this, no matter how much you understand this mentally, so many of us are still going to obsess, be self-critical and hate the reflection in the mirror.
Adweek is 100% right in that it's a beautiful ad with a great message. You can read the whole story here. It was ingenious to hire a criminal sketch artist for the comparisons, but, but, but....
As much as I wanted to like this ad for its message that you see yourself much harsher than others see you, I'm wondering why out of the seven women, they only interviewed and gave voice to the white women. What happened to the thoughts of the two black women and one Asian woman? I felt like they did the obligatory showing of diversity, but then glossed right over them. Did their reactions or comments just not fall in line with the message they were trying to sell? If so, I get it. It's an ad, not a research paper, not a feature news article. But showing them so briefly and then omitting their reactions brought up more questions which distracted me from the message. But I'm sensitive to these kinds of disparity. Just something for ad people to think about.
Update: After I shared this post, a friend shared another blogger's viewpoint of the ad with me and I urge you to go read it here. Jazzy Little Drops does a superb analysis of the ad in a way that I only felt in the edges of my subconscious but couldn't really put my finger on. Then she articulated it in such a meaningful way for me and I'm sure many others. Although she's gotten some negative backlash on her assessment of the ad in comments calling her "uptight, a dork, and over-analytical," I applaud her clear voice. Diversity is an important issue and unless we continue to challenge these so-called positive messages for reinforcing the meaning of beauty and the definition of American, we're going to continue being brainwashed in what real beauty looks and feels like.