Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Birth of Body Image

Body image genesis is incredibly complicated.

It has roots in comments from our friends and family, strangers, the media and ourselves.

Dove, the soap company has recently been putting out a series of ads that certainly help to illustrate some of the potential media influence on our body images.

They are beautifully designed ads that have been winning awards and have been showing up on blogs everywhere.

I first saw this advertisement on Parke Wilde's great US Food Policy blog. While it's messaging is clear, as I noted in a comment on Parke's blog, it's also the height of hypocrisy.

Dove's campaign is clearly meant to demonize the messaging that the beauty industry thrusts upon us at every turn. The ads messaging is clear,

"Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does"


"No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted"
An odd thing for a company whose parent company Unilever owns Slimfast, Axe body spray and other products clearly contributing to this phenomenon.

But the ads sure are jawdroppers.

What are your thoughts?

(For email subscribers, to see the ads, you'll have to actually visit the blog.)

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1 comment:

  1. I've had an issue with the Dove ads from the very beginning. It was as if a light went on in some marketing guy's head; "hey, waitaminute, fat people are bigger, they'll use more of our product! We just have to market to fat gals!! And we'll get points for being inclusive and consumer-sensitive. This is awesome!!"

    And yes, the irony is not lost in terms of a company like Unilever, which is dependent on people (particularly women) believing they need these products to look good and be worthy, using this type of campaign. It's meant to distract us from the animal testing, the increasing rate of chemical and fragrance allergies and most importantly, the fact that you can find better, more natural products for far less money.