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Nour Ghamrawi's Project One: Real Beauty

Page history last edited by Nour Ghamrawi 12 years, 6 months ago

Real Beauty


Every day you see women displayed on billboards, in magazines, in commercials, and all over the internet. The purpose of all these advertisements is to demonstrate what it takes and what it looks like to be beautiful. However, what we as consumers believe to be beautiful is not as it seems, this image affects everyone and is ruining lives. Dove is here to change that, here to set things right, and support real beauty.
            Dove is a company known for its products, such as its antiperspirants/deodorants, beauty bars, body washes, hair care, facial care products, and lotions/moisturizers. The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Dove is “clean”. Dove is trying to keep the world clean, not only through their products, but through supporting the world with a clean image of beauty.
            “Imagine a world where every girl grows up with the self-esteem she needs to reach her full potential, and where every woman enjoys feeling confident in her own beauty. Imagine the world of possibilities we can open up by helping to build self-esteem in the people we love most.” That is a direct quote from Dove’s campaign for real beauty website. Dove wants to build a world where women everywhere have the tools to inspire each other, feel empowered and look up to real beauty as opposed to the unhealthy and unattainable beauty presented by the media.
            It all began with surveys that were distributed to 3,200 women across ten countries including the U.S. and Canada. The results of these surveys were troubling, only two percent of these women described themselves as beautiful, half of them thought their weight was too high, and ninety percent of woman said they want to change at least one thing about their physical appearance. You might ask yourself, why are all these woman unsatisfied with what they have and why do they want to change themselves? Dove realized that it couldn’t have been pure intuition for these entire women to think alike and negatively about themselves, and then knew what the problem was and what had to be done. Dove reacted by creating a “Campaign for Real Beauty”, it launched in 2004 and it features real women advertising Dove’s products. These series of advertisements focused on promoting real and natural beauty, while trying to erase the near impossible image of beauty that has flooded the media.
            The first commercial part of this beauty campaign by Dove aired during the 2006 Super Bowl which was viewed by millions of people all across the world. The commercial cost Dove 2.1 million dollars. It wasn’t your average advertisement, no specific product was being advertised and no donations were requested. The commercial consisted of a group of girls who were unsatisfied with their physical appearance, and ended with the commercial saying let’s change their minds since every girl deserves to feel good about herself. The commercial ended off by asking the viewers to join their campaign for beauty, and that hour thousands of people joined it, and today there are over five million members to this campaign. That Super Bowl commercial was a huge success and definitely delivered its message across better than other advertisements. Due to the positive responses Dove continued in its campaign and released tons of commercials. The first commercial released during the Super Bowl relates heavily to pathos, the commercial is targeting the audience through an emotional perspective and is attempting to have the audience react emotionally. The target audience in that commercial was mainly geared toward woman and younger girls, however it affected much more than that. I believe after fathers and mothers saw this commercial they also wanted to be more supportive to their children’s physical appearance and instill confidence within their children.
            The commercial that received the most attention is Dove’s “Evolution”. This commercial shows a regular woman coming into the studio getting her makeup and  hair done, which is all pretty normal, however after the shoot the images are uploaded to a computer and altered drastically with Photoshop. Comparing the regular image of the woman to the final product shows a huge difference and almost an impossible one, and the commercial then shows two teenage girls staring at the billboard as they are walking past it. The commercial then states “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted,” and then asks the viewers to take part in the Dove Real Beauty Workshop for girls. This commercial used logos very effectively, it went through the series of logical steps to show you to get an extremely beautiful woman to appear on the bill board. It explained that it was practically impossible for women to look like what they saw all over the media and while doing this they established credibility since the advertisement was done very convincingly. This commercial received both positive and negative attention. Certain viewers were proud of it since it made them feel better about themselves and it showed them the truth, that it was almost impossible to acquire such physique. However, some people such as the models took it negatively because there are real models out there that actual are modeling their real selves and they do not want this stereotype coming out where everyone begins to believe that all models alter their image through technology.
            Today, Dove commercials feature all type women with a variety of physical qualities that aren’t usually found in regular advertisements. These commercials are not only targeted to women but to men as well to show them that the women they see in the media don’t exist, therefore the advertisements encourage men to stop comparing the real women in their lives to the fake women that are seen all over the media. The advertisements also make women feel much better about themselves since they learn that the models they try to mirror are not possible.
            As stated earlier there were negative results from these advertisements. The first being that models may have gotten offended due to the fact that they work so hard to be successful and it basically their entire life, and the Dove commercial summarizes what really happens in just over a minute. The second thing that I believe was an extremely negative result from the Dove commercials is its still focusing purely on physical appearance. It encouraging women or younger girls that they are beautiful no matter what, however it isn’t saying anything about not worrying about their physical appearance. Dove is basically saying that physical appearance matters but you don’t have to look like the models, this is keeping women objectified. Having women objectified is disregarding their personality and simply treating and judging them based on their looks, this is completely wrong. I believe it would be better if Dove incorporated other accomplishments for the women into their advertisements aside from real natural beauty.
            At the end of the day Dove is a profit corporation and its ultimate goal is to create a profit. Dove is doing a great thing however there is a lot in it for them as well. Dove is trying to portray itself as an ethical company and while doing this it establishes good publicity. Being ethical and having good publicity leads to an increase in sales because people would want to support Dove’s effort and be a part of it. The campaign in its entirety can be deduced as one big marketing strategy, Dove is doing a good thing but really it is just a smart and unique way to market their variety of products to everyone and anyone, not just the extremely beautiful women in the usual advertisements.












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