Hey, Dove: Stop being one-dimensional

Dove needs to re-evaluate their "Real Beauty" campaign to discuss more than looks in order to dive deeper into the true meaning of beauty.

The media’s version of beautiful is being thrust into our faces on a daily basis, leading women to question themselves and their physical attributes. Thankfully, there are quite a few companies and organizations dedicated to creating empowered, intelligent women.

And then there’s Dove. For the past 10 years, Dove has been promoting its “Real Beauty” campaign by inviting women to “join a discussion about beauty.” This time, however, Dove has taken it a little too far.

There was the Love Your Curls campaign, which, truthfully, was a nice heartwarming commercial when I first saw it, as Dove encouraged women of all races to embrace the natural locks they were given. Dove had women pose in underwear reminiscent of a Victoria's Secret ad to show how real women look. The company had FBI-trained sketch artists show women how they really look based on strangers descriptions, which evidently was to show that what other people saw was a more beautiful version of themselves than they imagined. All because initial findings revealed that only “2 percent of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful.”

These campaigns are important to have, but Dove is going about it wrong. According to Dove’s recent campaign, there are only two ways that you can view yourself — “beautiful” or “average.” “The company put up signs that said "beautiful" and "average" above the doorways of shopping centers in five cities — San Francisco, Shanghai, Delhi, London and Sao Paulo,” E Online said.

There are an infinite amount of adjectives that women can chose to describe themselves as: intelligent, witty, strong-willed, caring, funny, considerate, selfless — I could go on and on. BuzzFeed hit the nail on the head even with the articles surrounding controversy and take down by stating, “Because life is apparently defined by these two labels and nothing else.”

At first, Dove’s campaign was heartwarming, a real necessity for women around the world. More women do need to view themselves as beautiful, because each individual is beautiful in their own way. What Dove is repeatedly leaving out however, is that numerous factors make you beautiful. When a woman cracks a joke and laughs with a smile that will fill the room? That’s beautiful. When a woman is passionate about what she does and awes the people around her with her intelligence and words of wisdom? That’s beautiful. When women are kind to strangers and are there for their best friends? That’s beautiful. Dove is only focusing on one-dimensional instances of beauty.

For Dove to make the change that it is seeking out, it needs to add in more in-depth campaigns that will make women think of their other admirable traits. With Dove only focusing on beauty, it seems as if this is a marketing campaign, which, at the end of the day, it is. Dove wants sales. Although its intentions may be sound, and it does want women’s self esteem to rise, it wants those women to stand faithfully by Dove in support of the cause.

Now, however, people are realizing their campaign isn’t as beneficial as it seems. They are beginning to question why Dove isn’t advocating for their other traits. I’ve been wondering that same thing for quite some time. Dove is simply reiterating the same topic, resulting in no one listening as it is just scraping the surface. Dive in deeper Dove, and maybe then you will be on to something.

Reach the columnist at dpharias@asu.edu or follow @Dpharias on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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