Dove’s Real Beauty campaign purports to replace idealized (skinny) images of women with more realistic ones, with the tagline. “You’re more beautiful than you think.”
MS Magazine’s Danielle Nelson analyses what else is going on in the Dove ad video.
“At first glance, this video seemed comforting, almost therapeutic as an antidote against our airbrushed versions of beauty typified by Hollywood and glossy magazine covers. Instead of telling women to lose weight, apply makeup correctly and dress for our body
shapes, Dove (which sells skin and hair-care products) reassured us that we are beautiful despite our self-confessed flaws. But there was something deeply distressing about the message behind this Dove ad:
“With soothing music playing in the background, the ad traces various women as they describe themselves to a former forensic artist. From behind the curtain, he sketches, following their lead while also completing a second portrait—one based on how a stranger describes the woman. At the end, the artist unveils the two portraits side-by-side. On the one hand, it is quite moving to see the women tear up as they see that others find them more attractive than they see themselves. What woman doesn’t want to feel empowered and confident in her own skin? But among many other problematic aspects of this ad, Dove wants us to know that being beautiful is still what matters most. And by beautiful, they mean society’s narrowly defined cultural perception of beauty — i.e., white, thin, young, blonde. Continue reading “The Dove “Real Beauty” debate”
“Have you ever done something uncomfortable in the name of perceived beauty?” This is the provocative question asked by a new computer game aimed at exploring conceptions of body image and gender norms. Games for Change discusses “Gone from an Age: A Fitting” in the following excerpt from an article entitled “’Fitting’ Game to Explore Body Image.”
“At one point in your life, you may have tried chemically altering your hair, tried on a pair of pants that were way too tight, or focused more on fashion over function. All for the goal of achieving a specific look.
“Many of us partake in these practices to achieve a standard of beauty in modern society. Too often, we do so without considering why, the social costs if we don’t, or what physical and mental harm these activities are causing every day. Some would argue that beauty is purely for the benefit of those who are gazing upon it, disregarding the discomfort of the ones who have to achieve it.
“To give others this distinct understanding, game designers Amanda Dittami and Blair Kuhlman teamed up to create “Gone From an Age: A Fitting“, a motion controlled game that asks players to contort and perform for an audience, in what Kuhlman calls “a cross between a game of Twister and Vogue magazine.”
Currently, Dittami and Kuhlman are working hard on tweaking the game with a design team, local dancers, and fashion designers to get the game ready for “Off The Beaten Path“, a traveling art exhibition that aims create a dialogue about violence against women through various forms of art. To fully participate in a powerful way, the team has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds.”