While several companies feed into the false depictions of women in the media, others have addressed the issues at hand and have steered clear. Take Dove, as an example. The article, “Performing Beauty: Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign” discusses Dove’s unique marketing technique that celebrates women in their natural form, “‘Real’ beauty according to Dove means various shapes and sizes-flaws and all-and is the key to rebranding, rebuilding women’s self-esteem, and redefining beauty standards” (2009). Central to this campaign are unaltered, untouched, pictures of normal looking females. This contrasts with the American ideal of beauty, which has been morphed by the media to mean super skinny, super tall, and super blonde. By advertising what is natural, Dove hopes to redefine beauty rules and change the ways that the media negatively impacts young women. This idea is outlined on their website and in several other articles in which the company has made goals to ‘broaden beauty standards for future generations.’
In this study, Jennifer Millard, from the University of Saskatchewan, interviews sixteen females ranging the ages from fifteen to early fifty. In her analysis of these conversations, she finds that the Dove campaign to be effective, “First, the advertisements provide a means to join the fight against impossible standards/ Second, the regular features of the real people models help viewers feel better about their own physical appearance and self image. Third, the advertisements generated a discussion that allows participants to appear as intelligent consumers and critics of mass media without stepping out of the bounds of political correctness” (2009).
While some may argue that this is just a ploy to further sell their objects, it is not one that should be looked down upon. Yes, this marketing strategy is unique and has caused an increase in sales, however, these sales have helped support the well being and good nature of the company’s mission. Is it so wrong to profit off of the encouragement of self-esteem? Overall, this article characterizes a successful solution to a national epidemic. Government could also play a role here. They could encourage companies with benevolent advertising campaigns like this through the issuing of subsidies and other promotions of this sort. Although this study is based off of sixteen Canadian individuals, it does a good job of going into in depth conversation, therefore stimulating ideas about the campaign. It also comes from a graduate student, and is a published scholarly source.
Millard, Jennifer. “Performing Beauty: Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign.” Symbolic Interaction: 146-68. Print.