New Dove #ChooseBeautiful Ad Shames Women Who Don’t Choose To Feel Beautiful
Imagine this scenario: you’re on your way to a store or restaurant to catch up on some shopping or grab a cup of coffee. But over the doors to the place you’re trying to go, you see a pair of labels, one that says “Beautiful” and the other that says “Average”. You have to pass through one of them if you want to go buy that pair of jeans or chug that mocha latte. Oh, and the company that put them there? It did that because it’s worried you don’t have enough self-esteem.
Yes, via Buzzfeed, we see that Dove is at it again, not content to let their Campaign for Real Beauty rest peacefully and deservedly in its grave. Once more, the beauty-product company also known for bringing the world skin-whitening creams, anti-aging ointments, and ‘firming’ treatments to get rid of that horrifying cellulite on your butt, you pig, is really just trying to make you feel better about yourself. Somehow. By forcing you to sort yourself into one of two rigid categories based solely on your physical appearance. And then for making you feel like a piece of shit over your choice afterward! Here’s the video for the new #ChooseBeautiful campaign, which features equal-opportunity shaming of women from around the world.
Make sure you pay attention about 1:40 into the video to catch the Portuguese heroine of this video, who checked out the two labels, clearly thought, “hell no”, and peaced out in the opposite direction.
It’s interesting (i.e. heartbreaking) to listen to the women describe their feelings afterwards. Look at these responses and tell me honestly that they’re the words of women who have newly discovered their own beauty and self-worth:
“I walked into that door that said average and I didn’t feel really good after that.”
“It was my choice, and now I will question myself for the next few weeks, maybe months.”
The level of hypocrisy it takes for Dove to constantly bombard women with messages about products they need to fix their wrinkly, stretch-marked, sagging, blotchy bodies, and then turn around and make those women feel bad for having absorbed those messages, is staggering. If we want women to feel better in their own skin, that’s something that’s going to have to start somewhere higher up in the food chain than individual humans who just want to go do their shopping without being subjected to a crisis of identity.
Not many people are going to experience a revolution in self-confidence by being asked to define themselves in terms of their current feelings about their body image, but of course, that’s not the real purpose of this campaign. The real purpose of #ChooseBeautiful, as with any advertising scheme, is to flog Dove’s products. Because of course, a company that cares this much about women’s self-esteem must have their best interests at heart, even as it collects their skin-tightening, skin-whitening, skin-brightening money. Dove wants all of us to be at the point where we feel we can #ChooseBeautiful, and by the way, it’s willing to sell us whatever it takes to get us there.