Have you ever wondered if your perception of yourself may differ from how others perceive you? Personally, I have always wondered whether what I see in the mirror differs from what the world sees. I never really thought that there would be a big difference but after watching this video I realized that like the women in the video, I do often times focus and emphasize my flaws. It’s interesting to see how we (or most women) are so worried about our flaws and appearance when in reality, most people wouldn’t even notice them or even care about them. So if these perceptions are so different, which one do we believe? I may think that my lips are too small and therefore a flaw whereas others may think it’s just fine. Which one is truly how I appear?
Although I am not sure about the authenticity about this ad, this campaign definitely highlights the insecurities and low self-esteem that most women endure and the idea that we as individuals are our own worst critics. It attempts to call attention to the fact that women’s perceptions of their own beauty have been skewed and manipulated by years of media’s highly idealized portrayals of beauty.
After coming across this video, I did some research about the Dove Beauty Campaign. In 2004, Dove launched the Campaign for Real Beauty. Since their studies found that approximately 4% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful they set out to widen the definition of beauty. First they began with an ad in 2004, which featured women whose appearances differed from the stereotypical norms of beauty. Next in 2005, they advertised six women with curvy bodies in an attempt to reject the norm that only thin is beautiful. Although I admire Dove’s campaign and the messages they are promoting, I find these advertisements as slightly hypocritical and patronizing. Dove and Axe are both owned by Uniliver, and have you seen those Axe campaigns? Check out this Axe commercial that aired during the same time as other Dove Real Beauty ads:
How can a company promote these contrasting messages?
On one hand you have a compassionate and powerful message about women underestimating their appearance while on the other you have a campaign promising men seductive women by simply wearing cologne. While Dove seems to empower women and advocate a “natural” beauty, Axe contrastingly labels women as easily being turned on by axe. I’m sorry but I personally would not start popping my booty (excuse my language) or start dancing seductively in a grocery store after smelling axe. It’s just so farfetched and unrealistic. It’s amazing to see how advertising can so easily manipulate peoples’ minds. Why would you advocate women to be more confident when you also advocate women as being so easily attracted to men? Don’t get me wrong, I do admire Dove’s campaign but it’s degrading media like the Axe commercial that makes it so difficult for women to escape this never ending anxiety to believe they are beautiful.