This video Has been making the viral rounds this week. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen someone repost it with comments like ‘this made me cry’ or ‘this is me’ and ‘every woman needs to see this!’ Well played, Dove. You’ve got your own customers doing your advertising for you.
I HATE this video. It makes me angry. And no, it’s not sour grapes. Ok, I’m 40 something, vaguely Hobbit-y in appearance, have hair that always looks like it was styled with a lawnmower, and a butt that makes it feel like there’s something chasing me all the time.
I’m also Fucking Amazing.
Dove seems to be telling women that they’re prettier than they think they are, which on the surface sounds alright. Except that this video also reinforces the idea that we MUST BE BEAUTIFUL. Once again women are being led to connect their whole human value not with their intelligence, strength, kindness or achievement…just their beauty.
And before we applaud Dove too loudly for sending such a woman positive message, don’t forget that these are the same people who make Axe body spray, and the vapid ads that go along with it. This is nothing more than clever branding to make us do their work for them.
It makes me crazy that so many of amazing women sharing this drivel equate their own worth with someone else’s perception, no, not even that, THEIR perception of someone else’s perception of their attractiveness. We all talk about how attitudes towards women need to change. How we need to be defined by more than our attractiveness, and the perception of our ‘fuckability.
And then we fall for this garbage.
We need to start by changing our OWN attitudes first. I don’t need Dove to tell me I’m wonderful. I live me. If I don’t think I’m amazing, why should anybody else? The truth is, Dove doesn’t want me to feel like I’m perfect the way I am. Women who feel perfect don’t need to buy beauty products. There is an entire industry dedicated to nothing but making us feel inadequate. To making us feel like we need to change what we are. WHATEVER we are. And we fall for it over and over and over. Nobody, not our co-workers, families, the media, has any power to make us feel inadequate that we haven’t given them. Same goes for guys, but women in particular are raised to connect their entire sense of self worth with their appearance. We waste our lives wishing we were taller, thinner, blonder, younger, and it colours every interaction we have.
Fuck it. I’m awesome.
I missed this when you posted it! You’re so right. It is beyond annoying to see this drivel being shared by so many.
What we really need to do is turn the damned television OFF and stop comparing ourselves to others. Someone wrote in the last couple of days that comparison is the root of over half of the misery in the developed world. We could all stand to worry less about what we look like to others, and more about how we feel to ourselves. Don’t like something? Why not? Can you change it? If not, own it, and let’s all play the cards we’re dealt. A lot of us, myself included, are guilty of overlooking our own best assets because we’re busy trying to get what we think everyone else has, or hating ourselves for not already having it.
Somehow I did not see this as comparing ourselves with others or being concerned with what others think of us. What I took away from this video is that the way we believe we look is very often different and more harsh than the way others see us.
We see ourselves with all our faults and perceived flaws contributing to our belief that we are less than we really are. Those around us see the same things but what often comes through is the inner person that can be beautiful in non-physical ways. They see the caring, loving, carefree, zesty, sparkly or whatever other words describes who we are part of us that we do not see for ourselves and this is what is being portrayed with this video.
Sure, Dove has a fantastic advertising advantage from this video, however, we also need to look beyond the self-serving gains Dove achieves and also look at the more subtle message in this video.
Just my .02 cents worth; however, this is what I took away from this vide.
I think you missed the fact that they’re using regular, average women who think they’re not beautiful – and showing them that they are good enough. They’re prettier than they think. They don’t say anywhere in here: just use our product and maybe you’ll be okay enough for someone to love. They say: you’re loveable as you are. They say: you may not see your own beauty, but others do and it’s time you realized it. You’re beautiful. As you are.
I think you’re projecting. I think you have self-esteem issues to the point you feel like if you were one of those women, the people describing you would NOT have made a prettier picture. But I think that’s wrong. I’d be willing to lay $5 on a bet that they would.
The fact is, most women feel like we’re not good enough.
I should support companies that are telling me I’m too fat/skinny/tall/short/young/old, and if only I use their product, I’ll be better? I should support that kind of marketing rather than one that says, “Women are beautiful as they are, and we want to help them understand that”?
You’re beautiful as you are. Beauty isn’t just about outer appearance – but seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes can help you to see it. THAT is the point of this. I’m sorry you missed it.
I missed nothing. I have my own beauty, and am actually quite comfortable in my skin. But it is naive to believe a company that wants to sell you something is just being nice. Whatever this message says on the surface, it also reinforces the idea that we MUST BE BEAUTIFUL. All of these women get to feel better because they are are prettier than the women pictured at first. Some aren’t. They are just as awesome. The ad doesn’t mention lovability at all. Just beauty. As one of the FB readers said, the ad actually states “beauty couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.” That is the part I object to.
Thanks for posting. I’m not discounting the message on the surface. This isn’t altruism on Dove’s part though. It’s slick marketing capitalizing on our insecurities. Whatever it says on the label, when you open the package, it still whispers that it’s important to be beautiful.
Emily Sanford said:
Amen. I hadn’t even watch the ad/video yet and my teeth were set on edge. Again, I feel the need to repeat that it is nobody’s business to comment on anybody’s physical appearances. We were all given bodies, and they’re all different. It is our duty to use them with respect, and love them well.
“Pretty” is useless and arbitrary. And shallow. And really insulting. We are capable of SO much more. A desire to feel “pretty” indicates a there’s whole lot missing in the important spheres of a life, and it all boils down to self-respect. For some of us it takes a while to learn, but it’s well worth the time and investment–and the payout comes in dividends of happiness and peace.