By Awazi, a Foundation volunteer
The Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign launched in 2004, and started as a “global conversation” to find the definition of beauty and what it means to people who identify as women. The original mission was to find The Real Truth about Beauty as a widespread Global Report.
Only 2% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful. Dove went on a mission to change and “challenge the beauty stereotypes.” Dove wanted to create an atmosphere where people who identify as women could talk about their own beauty and be confident about it.
During the first campaign Dove decided to use “real women whose appearance were outside stereotypical norms” that were traditionally shown in advertising to make a point that beauty can come in different shapes, shades and sizes. Dove’s Campaign even inspired others, for example in September 2006 Spain banned overly thin models from its fashion runways. This truly spoke to the campaign and added on to the debate. Dove responded in a short film called Evolution which they explain “depict[s] the transformation of a real woman into a model and promot[es] awareness of how unrealistic perceptions of beauty are created.”
In 2007 Dove Beauty Campaign took an interesting turn as they narrowed in to the identities of woman and age. This campaign explained women aging and how that is not seen as pleasing for people who identify as women or society. The global study, Beauty Comes of Age viewed that 91% of women identified folks ages 50–64 believe that society needs to change their opinion on aging people. As a result of this, Dove held a celebration to acknowledge women of older age with wrinkles, age spots, and grey hair. This was made possible and created with internationally renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. The campaign focused on people who identify as girls and women who feel capsized by the fact that people they see in magazines are unrealistic and altered. This increased awareness of the fact that beauty images impact self-esteem.
In 2010 Dove paired up with the Girls scouts of the U.S.A, and Girls and Boys clubs of American to encourage a boost of self-esteem for the youth. They also included educational programs to motivate young girls. Dove has reached over 7 million girls so far with these programs, and set a global goal of reaching 15 million girls by 2015.
For 2011 Dove has pushed the ball even further by conducting a much larger study of women identified folks’ relationship with beauty, this was called The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited. The study revealed that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, and that anxiety about looks begins at an early age. Over 1,200 10-to-17-year-olds, a majority of those who identified as girls, 72%, said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. Very few girls and women use the word beautiful to describe themselves. Although the self-esteem levels of people who identify as women are very low, Dove is trying to make a difference to change that in a positive way! This Campaign is continuing to promote and spread awareness today.
I think dove is doing a great job of going to the source, real people, and asking them what they think beauty is. Even better, they found a problem and addressed it. They found that people who identify as women were not happy with their bodies or how they look. They also found women identified folks were not happy with not seeing their types of unique bodies in ads and commercials. Most of them had low self-esteem about their appearance and wouldn’t even call themselves beautiful.
We are all beautiful in our own ways! People who identify as women have had to be strong, have had to fight for their rights, and to me that’s beautiful! Beauty is not always about looking good or having the cutest shoes, beauty is being your best and sharing that wherever you go! I feel like Dove’s campaign is trying to share that beautiful information with everyone- no matter if they identify as a woman or not.
What do you think? Feel free to rate this campaign review and comment below!
The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty." The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty. UNILEVER , 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 12 June 2014. <http://www.dove.us/social-mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx>.