Dove’s Confusing Message for Women

This particular commercial won two Golden Lions at Cannes. At its most basic, the dominant message that the advertisement wants to convey to us is this: the images we see on billboards, on television, and magazines are fake, constructed, an idealised form of beauty that may not be possible to achieve in real life.  This is, of course, made clear by the tagline at the end — “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted”. Also, it fits in well with Dove’s ongoing “Real Beauty” campaign.

But isn’t this commercial conveying a couple of other messages that to a certain extent undercut this dominant idea that Dove wants us to get.

For instance, isn’t it also telling women that makeup can alter their appearance so that thay can look much better?

Here’s another — isn’t it claiming that now, even average looking girls can become models? Don’t worry, we’ll tidy it up in post-production.

The most interesting question that arises from this commercial for me, however, is this: Who decides what the current beauty ideal is going to be? Is it one individual with  a Mac and a mouse?


3 Responses

  1. And then there’s the fact Dove is part of the Unilever stable of products; at least they have one brand acknowledging the myth some of their other brands’ marketing perpetrates… Remember the Lynx airline commercial that was pulled?

  2. I saw this video a couple of years back, and as i’ve seen it pop up in several different places on the web just this week, i’ve decided to drop my “reading but not contributing” thing for just this.

    In barely related news, this video was actually the first film i attempted to copy to, and play on my iMate, back before I dropped it so many times the screen stopped working, and close after the time my boss decided to stop listening to my constant whinging and just give me the phone.

    This video hits home on so many ideas, but the main one for me is the woman that i’ll forever want, but never have; due to her being a combination of the applied skills of multiple stylists, an unnatural lighting arrangement and imaging software.

    Should I ever take for myself a lover; with disproportionate eyes, gravity defying ringlets and a neck stretched by those tribal brass rings, the sun will just light her badly and put all that effort to waste!

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