works.com © Peter Fisk 2008
Dove challenges the beauty world, and inspires real women
Peter FiskDream women or real women?Flawed or flawless? Wrinkled or wonderful? What exactly is real beauty?That was the provocative, controversial and memorable challenge from Dove, the body and skincarebrand. Seeking to reenergise its own fortunes, but also to assertively challenge the myths and taboosof the cosmetics world, the Unilever business launched its “Campaign for Real Beauty”. One womanis heavily freckled, whilst another has a prominent scar; one could never be called size zero whilstanother shows off her tattoos and body piercing.Rather than the unrealistic images of beauty used by rivals such as Johnson & Johnson, Nivea, andthe entire fashion industry, Dave showed real women and realistic body shapes. They were mothersand daughters, sisters and girlfriends, real people who you could read more about and listen to online,all of who had their own challenges and aspirations, none of whom sought to be like Kate Moss,Agnes Deyn, or other similarly unattainable entities.The critical issue was what makes women feel good.Are there certain classic and fashionable looks that women would secretly love to possess, doeslooking a beautiful women emotionally make us feel beautiful too? Or is today’s woman confident inher own image, where happiness and those around them matter more, and is this reinforced byseeing others like her?Of course, we live in a society where we are surrounded by artificially enhanced images of beauty – from botox and breast enlargements, to lifestyle magazines and music stars – and a culture whereaspiring to these stereotypes is thought to be good. Men don’t help, only fuelling the desire. Webecome obsessed with appearance, and the pursuit of perfection. The hours reading the magazines,watching the television shows, standing in front of the mirror, in the changing rooms, or at thecosmetics counter.Imagine the time, money and anxiety we would save if we could just be content with ourselves.