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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Dove ad featuring natural women

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Author Topic: Dove ad featuring natural women
Lucky1402
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A new Dove ad has sufaced some time ago, for a skin firming lotion- I'm sure many of you have seen it. It features normal, everyday women, sizes ranging from 4 to 12, clad in underwear, and looking very comfortable in the various bodies they have.

This article: http://slate.msn.com/id/2123659/?GT1=6772#ContinueArticle
entitled "When Tush Comes to Dove," left me feeling unsettled for some reason. It made it relatively clear to me, through some of the author's words, that there are still those out there today (and I know there are a lot of them) who are not ready to view natural, healthy women's bodies as beautiful and sexy.

Granted, he didn't say anything blatantly offensive about the women in the ad- he even went as far as to name one of the models as his favorite- but some of words he used, and his general tone I suppose, struck a mild nerve in me. He referred to some of the models as having paunches, which they clearly do not (unless his definition of a "paunch" is any tummy that is not washboard flat). And, perhaps what irked me the most, he gave the ad an overall D grade because he worries that Dove will become known as "the brand for fat girls." That comment alone made me feel less than great about myself- subconsciously I thought, If the majority of the world considers those girls fat, what does that make me?

I, personally, found the models in the ad to be beautiful and refreshing- I was pleased to, for once, see an ad with women of every size and shape.

What do you think of the ad and, even more, what do you think of the article? Did it leave anyone else with a bad taste in their mouth, or is it just me?

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dailicious
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I actually like the idea of some of these campaignes and enjoyed seeing them in magazines.

However, after reading the article a big part of my brain screeched to a stop shouting, "WOAH wait a minute!" I am completely with you, this article does not sit right AT ALL.

But these are not models. These women have paunches. And asses. And are not pouting. Dove says these ladies range from size 4 to size 12

While it's true that the ad features women who are not of model shape and size, it DOES feature women who are generally healthy looking and fit for their height and apparant body-type. These are NOT women who are overweight; featuring the largest at a size TWELVE is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. I have a friend who is VERY fit and due to the shape of her body, she wears a size 12. I myself am a naturally built size 4. So while the adds show real women (since healthy, beautiful, fit women do come in sizes 4-12 and below and beyond) the comments in the article clearly show that while the "intentions" may have been in the right direction, the creator's view on reality and what IS healthy in a woman is SERIOUSLY skewed by the general advertisement media the adds seem to be running away from!

Using terms like "pauches" and "big-boned" and throwing them around like "even those these women have them, they're beautiful!" even though larger bone structure and NATURALLY OCCURRING AND HEALTHY round tummies and squishy-round-tushes (both of which even I, the size 4, are more culprit to than my fit size 12 friend) they're still beautiful.

The wording absolutely disgusts me. And in the end, the article, as bitter or cruel as it may come across, is playing it correctly.

But there's a dirty little secret here. Because, in the end, you simply can't sell a beauty product without somehow playing on women's insecurities. If women thought they looked perfect—just the way they are—why would they buy anything?

These Dove ads say it's cool to be round and hefty … so long as your skin is taut and firm and perfect. (And, in case you're curious, Dove says these photos were not retouched at all.) But what's that, you say? You love your real curves, but you've got a little cellulite? Girl, run out and buy our hocus-pocus cream right now! Those cottage cheese thighs are vile! Dear God, cover them up!

Also, while the last paragraphs I included do hold a very readable sarcastic tone, I agree with you that the final low grade is too hard to tell with the rest of the attitude throughout the article. The entire thing to me just came across as distasteful and playing in sarcasm too much and at very inapporpriate times to get any real message across- case in point being the final "D" rating.


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Heather
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You know, it's fairly safe to say that a writer on this issue who seems to feel that picking a "favorite" or that he has a "crush" is needed, wanted -- or not totally patronizing -- to validate the size or shape of the women shown -- or women in general -- pretty clearly already doesn't get it.

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Gumdrop Girl
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The first time I saw the Campaign for Real Beauty advertisements was in THAILAND. The people who skewer this campaign in America have based their criticisms on how Dove is trying to sell cellulite cream to fat women. Their argument doesn't hold against what I saw halfway around the world. In Thailand, there are very few fat women. It's a developing country where nutrition isn't exactly what it is in the West and Asian tend to be smaller than Caucasians and Africans anyway.

So their version of the Campaign for Real Beauty did not center around women of sizes greater than 2. It was a very well done campaign that drew from a lot of common local features that don't get a lot of attention in the mainstream media. For example, they showed a woman with freckles, flat noses, darker skin, narrower eyes. These are very typical Thai women. What does the Thai media like to show? Hapas. For whatever reason, all the big stars and models are half-Thai, half-white, and they all have very Europea features.

It's harder to pin commercial interests on Dove when they're clearly not advertising any nose-growing, freckle-erasing, eye-widening creams. I wish I could remember the url for Thailands's version of the site. But in case you missed it, here's the American link: http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com

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morganlh85
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The thing about the Campaign for Real Beauty is to keep in mind that Dove doesn't actually care about Real Beauty, it's marketing gimmick like any other. If people THINK they care about real women's bodies, more women will buy their products. In real life they probably don't give a **** about Real Beauty, they care about their bottom line, and it's working because look at all the attention this ad campaign has gotten.
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Gumdrop Girl
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hmm, well aren't you a cynical missy.

even if they have their $$$ in mind, which would you rather have: ad campaigns that persist in promoting the thin white woman ideal? or an ad campaign that's diverse, culturally appropriate and features multiple body types?

sell me butt cream with the latter anyday.

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Toll free STD and clinic information, and condoms sent to your door for Los Angeles County residents.
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LilBlueSmurf
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But they're still selling butt cream.

"Really, your butt is fine ... Here, buy our butt cream!" ... I'm sorry, i'm confused. I should like my butt the way it is, but only if it were just a wee bit firmer ...?

I'm w/ morganlh85 on this one

I could really dig this campaign from almost ANYONE else.


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Gumdrop Girl
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but who would offer a campaign like this? Who has any sort of budgeting or even purpose or it?

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morganlh85
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If they were just selling lotion or soap, I'd be cool with it. But to say, hey being fat is awesome, IF you don't have cellulite too! I just don't follow the logic there, like LilBlueSmurf commented as well. Aren't I allowed to like my cellulite either? It seems oxymoronic to me.
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DarkChild717
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You know, it's funny. I like the add. I like the campaign. But I honestly had no idea what is being sold. In magazines, I see the women, I see something to the effect of "Real Women have curves" and I continue on with a smile on my face. I never actually paid much attention to the product being sold.

That said, while it is a marketing gimmick, it's nice to see one that doesn't emphasize that at a hard-earned size 14, that I'm still fat and unlovable. I, like every human on earth, like being told that I am beautiful just the way I am, regardless of my size.


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OMega
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I really like this ad, too!

I, also, didn't know what was being sold, but I will tell you that I remembered the brand with real women in their commercials!

So now when I go to buy my face lotion, and soap, and whatnot, I choose Dove over the other brands, just because I like their ads better. So what if it's just a money-making thing? ALL ads are there for a reason other than to make someone feel good. If they can accomplish both, why not do it?


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elliebean
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on a related note, has anyone else seen the new-ish Nike print campaign that celebrates things like strong thighs and banged-up knees that don't exactly fit the mold of conventionally "beautiful" parts? i think that one is better than the Dove ads, because of what everyone else has said about them still selling firming cream. even though Nike is obviously still selling stuff, at least it's stuff you can use to help get a healthy body, as opposed to an "ideal" one.
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morganlh85
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That's funny I came back to this thread to talk about those ads. I'm a much bigger fan of the Nike ones; they seem more sincere or something. I especially love the big butt one; I'm going to hang that one on my wall.
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fluffypink
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thats not what they are saying - everyone seems to have seen the ad, but has anyone read it? what they are saying is that their product is so good that even IF you are fat (and im not saying any of those woman are fat as fat is a unhealthy term and agreed -those woman all look healthy from what ive seen) however they are not size 0 models, of course if you have no skin to be firmed, this cream will work.. but what about it you have an extra thick skin coating over your otherwise beautiful body? this is the cream for you. they are using ideallized(sp) imperfect woman to show their products efficiency.
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LilBlueSmurf
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What they're saying is open to interpretation. I don't believe they've really SAID a lot.

If being 'fat' is okay, why should not having the firmest skin be any different?

It's like "you're perfect just the way you are, but ... your butt could be a little firmer". I think it's sending a very mixed message here.


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fluffypink
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"Firming the thighs of a size 2 supermodel is no challenge. Real Women have real bodies with real curves. And Dove wants to celebrate those curves."
taken from the site
the emphasis of the product is being completely misread i think, i dont think its about beauty so much as bodies and skin. 2 seperate things. you can have a beautiful body but still have saggy skin - is it so wrong for a woman to want her skin to adhere to her naturally beautiful body?

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LilBlueSmurf
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I just think that if it were so naturally beautiful, there wouldn't be any need for these creams. If you really accepted yourself and loved yourself the way you were (as this ad pushes women to do), would you really need their products?
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Heather
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I can't help but laugh a little here.

That's primarily because skin is ahdered to the body regardless, and all ANY type of cream is going to do, save act preventatively to keep the skin supple (and something as simple as olive oil can do that) is going to be VERY subtle firming. I assure you that no woman the age of the women in those ads has to be concerned at all about her skin adhering to her body.

Advertisements like these aren't philanthropy: they're to seell a product and make money for the company. Even the company isn't likely to fib about that one. Obviously, there is advertising which is more or less enclusive and offesnive or empowering, but it's still advertising, and in this case, for products which have zero impact on women's health and can't do anything different than any basic moisterizing subtance.

So, yay for women of average size (no woman in those ads is fat) being shown in advertising, absolutely. But boo for yet again doing so while trying to push an uneeded and appearance-only product on an already economically disenfrachised class.


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SarahAnne
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Every single women in the world is beautiful in some way.

This add is also more realistic because there are more women with curvy figures, that will be useing this product, not those with flat stomachs and toned asses.

Get into the real these men who say that, all those women should be proud of there figures, no matter what anyone says there is someone out there that loves every single part of them.

SarahAnne

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Heather
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Well, and here's hoping that someone is THE WOMEN THEMSELVES.

(That is to say: it's wise to be cautious of validating women's bodies by saying some man loves them. Because even if that's so: it's irrelevant. Women's bodies are no more or less beautiful, valuable, vital and necessary if a man does or doesn't love them -- even if NO man does. And ultimately, having a partner validate a body in that way tends to be an ineffective and impermanent route to positive body image.)

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toonses
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I think this is a very good marketing campaign. Yes dove wants to sell their product, that's the point of advertising, and I'm under no illusions about that. However, it's nice to finally see a marketing campaign in which they take normal, un-airbrushed, women, and give the message that they are beautiful.

In regards to that article, the word judgemental came to mind. I did not like his 'paunchy' comments, and many of the others that have already been listed. None of those women is paunchy, hefty, fat, whatever - seems to me someone has been looking at the stick models waaay too long.


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Umikun 13
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“Cellulite” is an invented problem used to make money off of snake-oil “butt creams.” It’s really just ordinary adipose (fat tissue), and if you don’t like the sight of it you can exercise more. (I don’t think dieting is such a good idea.) Anyway, I think size 12 women look more attractive than size 2, in general.

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HempHippie
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Good! Let America really see how natural women should be, in all there glory. We are beautiful NO MATTER WHAT SIZE.

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DarkChild717
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You know, other issues aside, I have an even greater respect for these six women. Why?

Because they appeared on Oprah. In their skivvies. That is not something I can personally do. Oprah interveiwed them, and they talked about themselves, and how they thought they were beautiful.

Now, I like to strut my stuff as much as the next girl, but it's going to take me a lot more to do it in front of a huge tv-audience, and a multi-million person national audience.

Yeah.


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faifai
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quote:
Originally posted by Umikun 13:
I think size 12 women look more attractive than size 2, in general.


But that's exactly the kind of thinking the campaign is trying to eliminate. Women are beautiful regardless of their size. I'm a size 2, does that mean I should think I'm not as attractive as a size 12? Should I gain some weight, kill myself trying to create more curves on my body, etc.? What it's trying to show is that size doesn't matter.

[This message has been edited by faifai (edited 09-25-2005).]


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JamsessionVT
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(Not to mention that your size does not necessarily say anything more about you than your genetics. Some people are naturally a size 2, or 0 for that matter, because that is what their genetics dictate, just as easily as genetics might say that you are a size 10 or 12)
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feefiefofemme
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I get a fair amount of exersize, eat healthily, and generally take care of myself and I'm a size 32. In mens' pant sizes, that is. I think I'm a size 10 or 12 in women's, but I'm not sure. I also have a pretty little size 4 dress that fits me perfectly. Anyhow, depending the brand and style it varies. I have a friend who eats a ton of junk food and is still a size 2. What you look like really depends on what your genes are like, and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We all have to learn to love ourselves as we are, not as society dictates we should be.
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