A few years ago, Dove launched what was, in my opinion, a genius campaign: Campaign for Real Beauty. This campaign tugs on my heart strings more so than others, because body image is something I’m very passionate about. It’s heart breaking to see very young girls so unhappy with the way they look–the way God made them.
The campaign identifies the media as the ultimate manipulator of the culture of femininity–it cons girls and women alike, to be dissatisfied with themselves and instead compels them to crave, idolize and relentlessly pursue the media’s definition of “beauty.” We all know this definition of “beautiful” without being told, because we are so exposed to it.
While a lot can be wrong with a girl, height, weight, complexion, hair, eye color, etc., most emphasis in the media (in my opinion) is on WEIGHT and SIZE.
So thin good-looking women are nice to look at, what’s the problem? It’s not real. It’s not obtainable. While fashion industry leaders claim media consumers “all know it’s not real,” they are being ignorant of both gullible women and, more importantly, little girls.
Younger girls do not make mental distinctions between facade and reality. What they see are their realities and what they see are unnaturally thin, perfect, “beautiful” women.
The campaign does expose the ingenuity of advertisements by introducing media consumers to the wondrous world of Photoshop, however it also stresses the importance of parents communicating with their younger girls about these images.
In my opinion, that message was most effective. How easy was it for audiences to act as a result of this campaign? To sit down with their children and explain the difference between true, natural beauty and the media’s distorted illusion of beauty?
Thin-body type advertising (specifically) is a tremendous part of the infrastructure of both the media and the psychological warfare of the female confidence. Little girls are becoming the victims. They’re being duped into sacrificing themselves for the sake of preserving society’s standard of unachievable beauty.