It’s not often that you see an advertisement for a beauty product line that dares you to defy the definition of conventional beauty. Companies like Loreal and Revlon are very happy to embrace such vapid campaign slogans as “Because you’re worth it!” or marketing techniques highlight the mystique of their stunning spokesmodels (Halle Berry). There’s nothing inherently wrong with these campaigns, mind you, I just find they don’t really speak to me. I don’t believe for one minute that if I use their products, then I’ll be as gorgeous as the women being used to demonstrate them.
Take Dove on the other hand. Sure they’re not selling makeup or hair color. They’re still selling products meant to aid in beauty – facial washes, hair spray, body wash. I first took notice of their ad campaigns well over a year ago, with the commercial they put out with a bunch of women wearing blonde wigs congregating together, then ripping off the wigs and tossing them away because “it would be boring if we were all the same”. Ain’t that the truth. Their hairspray was designed to work on the multitude of hair types out there.
Heh, I thought at the time. Clever. I didn’t really buy it. Then I was intriged by Dove’s deodorant ads, the ones where they had ‘real’ women testing the product and showing their results to us. Again, I thought the women were actors (of course, they must be)…but they were actors that looked like my coworker, my neighbor, the woman I pass on the street on the way to work every day. I really liked that.
Next came the ad for moisturizer, proclaiming that women would love the skin they were in. This one starred a wonderfully and truly curvy woman unabashedly dancing around in her bra and panties. She was amazing. She was real.
This one was the kicker: Campaign For Real Beauty Seriously, it might be the song that gets me, but the message is so damned great it also makes me get tears in my eyes. It is so nice to see a postitive representation of women, everyday women and girls.
I looked in my bathroom medicine cabinet today. I have no Loreal products. I have no Revlon products. But I do have Dove body wash. Dove soap. Dove deodorant. Dove hairspray. Dove cried out, and I listened.