Dove Ad Enlists Criminal Sketch Artist To Draw How Women See Themselves

Are you ready for a totally thought-provoking commercial that will make you question everything you’ve internalized about body image while simultaneously desiring some Dove bodywash? Check out the latest missive in Dove’s “campaign for real beauty,” for which the brand hired a forensic sketch artist to draw women how they see themselves, as well as how others see them.

Can you guess what happened? That’s right: the women all looked older, tireder, and less conventionally pretty in the drawings drawn based on their descriptions of themselves than in those based on others’ descriptions. The lesson being, I suppose, that other people think you look fine, so you should stop being so hard on yourself. After all, it’s other people’s opinions that matter, right?

I’ll admit I’m a little bit torn on these ads: on the one hand, I appreciate things that take a stab at promoting better body image in women, because there are so many things constantly working against us in that arena. On the other hand, there is a fundamental hypocrisy here: that of promoting “real beauty” on the one hand, and selling beauty products on the other. It’s possible that Dove’s strategy is “rescue women from their shitty body image and they will buy your products out of sheer gratitude,” but that’s not really how advertising works, is it? I wonder if the women in this ad were subject to the same, extremely narrow qualifications for “real beauty” as the ones in this 2010 casting call?

I also realize it’s possible to have a “toned down” beauty routine in which you eschew a lot of it, but still apply moisturizer and a small amount of makeup in order to achieve that faux-natural glow that people love so much. But please, please, please do not call that “real,” as in “naturally occurring,” because that is incorrect. Then again, I guess “Dove Campaign For Selling You That Product-Assisted ‘Natural Look’ That Magazines Say Men Adore” doesn’t have as nice a ring to it, does it?

Related: Club kids and drag queens are 90% makeup, and they are some of the realest bitches I know.

(Via TheFrisky)

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    • http://twitter.com/KtObermanns Kt Obermanns

      I was honestly pretty annoyed by this ad- we see POC for maybe 10 seconds cumulative, the women we see are almost all white and young, and “more beautiful” consistently means “thinner,” “younger,” and “lighter.” At one point “fatter” is used in conjunction with “sadder.” Also, is our beauty REALLY the most critical thing to our happiness? Come on, Dove.

      • skitzo

        I was honestly pretty annoyed by this comment. The world is really quiet sick of you and your dime store psychology lessons about how the whole world is racist.

        FYI BTW White women are consistently the most attractive breed on the planet.

      • black and fucking damn proud

        FUCK THAT BITCH!!!! IN WHICH PART OF THE UNIVERSE WAS THAT LIE EVER CONJURED!!!!

        NOT MEANING TO BE HATER but when I READ RACIST COMENTS LIKE THIS I JUST WANNA GO SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        YOU GOT LEROSY BITCH THAT”S WHY SKIN CANCER IS YOUR FUCKIN MOTHER ASS Best friend.

        But hey, Ima keep it cool, play it low and just tell you this:

        DON”T HATE ME COS I”M BLACK AND BEAUTIFUL!!!!

    • Lori Nicole Peck

      I kept seeing this posted all over the place and was just scrolling past it because Dove’s entire “real beauty” campaign pisses me off for mostly all the same reasons mentioned in this article. From the description of the video, I thought it was like people’s friends and family describing them. Someone they just met? They’re not going to remember enough details to be comparable to the person’s self image. That makes it even more of a fail than I was expecting. Grr.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

      Glad I wasn’t the only one unimpressed and not super stoked on this. Agreed with @twitter-35692128:disqus that they just reaffirmed conventional standards of beauty and delivered an unkind message as a result. Ugh.

    • Em

      Glad I’m not the only one thinking twice about this commercial. It’s an ad campaign. It’s meant to make us associate Dove with love, gentleness, embracing our ‘real beauty’ and being nicer to ourselves.

      Also, I must point out that I never noticed my armpits before Dove. But now I think about whether I have dry or rough skin in my armpits… hmmm okay, Dove, I’ll forgive the wrinkles on my face, but I’d better do something about the ones under my arms.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0QNuKoH7Ko

    • skinny minnie

      Oh please i just watched the men’s version. This was all acting where people were given lines. exact same words in reverse.