Body image is something college students struggle with on a daily basis. This issue spans the gaps of gender, race and age. It is something everyone has dealt with at least once in their life.
On April 14, Dove released the latest installment of its “Real Beauty” advertising campaign called “Dove Real Beauty Sketches.” This video spread quickly through social media, with a vast majority of people praising the message.
Even though it has been over a month since the advertisement was released, it is still frequently popping up on my Facebook newsfeed. It obviously is striking a chord with people, especially women, and it is an interesting occurrence to say the least.
The video features women describing themselves to a professional forensic artist and he sketches them as they see themselves. Then, another person with whom the woman had briefly interacted comes in and also describes her to the artist. The women then compares the difference between how they see themselves and how the others presumably see them.
Ultimately, this video is saying we are our own worst critics. This is entirely true. We judge ourselves by the ideals society has set. Admit it, you have done it yourself. We have a tendency to see our flaws in comparison to the images of perfection thrust upon us by the media at large. Realizing this, and working to develop a more positive body image is a worthwhile endeavor and I applaud Dove for taking on this difficult mission.
However, there are a few things I would have liked to additionally see in the ad. Although the main women in the ad showed a little diversity, older women were not used in the ad and all of the women were slim. There was not enough diversity of age and body shape to really make an impact on all types of women. By not using images of a wide array of women and types of beauty, the ad has already lost a little significance.
I thought of this example when I was watching the commercial with my grandmother. As a strong and proud woman, she still said this commercial no longer applied to her because she was old. The advertisement did not upset her by any means, but I’m sure there is a woman out there saying, “great message, wish it applied to me.”
There is no one single definition of what beauty is. Nobody can define it and I applaud Dove for carrying this message to a wide audience. However, I recommend that their next ad be more diversified and redefine what it means to be beautiful.