Women Criticize Dove Ads Directed At Women

Illustration for article titled Women Criticize Dove Ads Directed At Women

A little over a month ago, Dove released a commercial called Onslaught, in which a young girl is bombarded with images of women as depicted by the beauty industry and music videos — and in plastic surgery situations. It came on the heels of other videos, Evolution, True Colors and Hair. Now the women of "all-girl creative think tank" 3iying have responded, and they're not impressed. "If I hate my freckles, it doesn't mean I have 'issues,'" they write in BusinessWeek. "A healthy girl can love herself and hate her freckles. Self-respect doesn't demand that we think we are perfect, or that we love every aspect of ourselves."


The women of 3iying accuse the creatives behind the Dove ads of judging girls for putting time, money and effort into their hair.

Dove's hair campaign slogan is "Love your hair." I thought playing with my hair was loving it. If I loved my hair the way Dove wants me to, what would I do? Nothing? When girls love their hair, they feed it great products, play with it, invent new styles, and enjoy taking care of it. They don't do nothing.


As for the Onslaught ad, the ladies call it "mean and judgmental." "Participating in fashion, cosmetics, exercise, or even plastic surgery doesn't necessarily make a girl unhealthy," they argue. "Her nose job could be an act of courage, her fashion pure play, and the makeup an important artistic outlet." They suggest that Dove's ads reinforce the idea that girls are weak.

Although they make valid points, are they right? "If I get a nose job, does that make me a loser?" The women ask. Maybe not, but which is more courageous: Going under the knife so that your nose looks more like other noses? Or accepting your nose for what it is and walking proudly, with your head held high? And isn't "playing" with your hair sometimes damaging — not just to your hair, but to your psyche? Because not all of us are supposed to have stick-straight blonde tresses. And even if Dove is a beauty company critiquing the practices of other beauty companies — whether their campaigns are successful or not, shouldn't we appreciate their effort to send a positive message? Even if it comes in a negative way?

Dove (D)evolution [BusinessWeek]

Earlier: Beauty Company Attacks Little Girl (And Other Beauty Companies) With Image Blitz
The Inconvenient Truth Behind Dove, The Love-Your-Body Beauty Company
Dove Vs. Axe: Is Unilever Hypocritical?


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Rooo sez BISH PLZ

@RainbowBrite: "But most people who have plastic surgery don't have an actual issue."

They do if their patriarchal asshole boss — who doesn't always have to be a guy — is telling them they're too old to work.

Also, I have friends who have gotten implants because they've had radical mastectomies to arrest cancer. They didn't HAVE to have them, because the cancer hadn't metastasized, but they just wanted to look "normal" again.

Sometimes, if you don't "look normal", this society will beat the shit out of you. And that's why I'm a lot less judgmental about the ladies getting surgery — assuming arguendo that they haven't been brainwashed and just swallowed the "this is what women are supposed to look like" whole from, like, birth — than I used to be.