The objectification of women Is almost so normal that It Is aridly recognized or criticized anymore. A great description of women In the media spotlight is by Katie Milestone and Annex Meyer: “Girls and women are encouraged to compensate for natural deficiencies in their appearance through cosmetics and fashion in order to measure up to the ideal standards. There is a paradox, though: while the use of fashion and cosmetics Is advised, ‘natural’ beauty Is proclaimed the Ideal and what men want” (Milestone, 2012) Women are expected to be flawless.
They should possess the perfect body, be thin, have excellent skin, be tall with gorgeous hair, and usually fair skinned, setting the tankards for Ideal beauty. These are standards that are almost unattainable by most, and If reached, are usually at the cost of self-esteem and/or health. Dove has set out to change this with their ‘Campaign for Real Beauty,’ started In 2004 (Solomon, 1999). Their goal was to show what real beauty is by showing the world what really happens to a model as she has all her make up down, is airbrushed, photo shopped and slapped up onto a billboard as displayed in their commercial Evolution.
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We watch this commercial and what was once a mediocre looking women has turned into this super model that hardy looks like the original omen that Is sat down. Dove wants to show the world that no matter the shape, height, skin color, hair style, whatever, that all girls and women are absolutely beautiful. This is so innovative in this day and age. One of the largest companies in the world is trying to tear down this empire that has been built on beauty in order to generate more sale. Wait, what? This is all to Just generate more sales?
No way, Dove and Milliner honestly care as a company about young girls self-esteem. They have started a the Dove Movement for Self Esteem to raise young girls self esteem as dated on the Girl Scouts website their goal Is: “Inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential by caring for themselves and each other. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem invites all women to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety” (Corporations/Foundations). Obviously Dove clearly cares about young women’s self esteem and confidence in their own beauty.
So why does This inconsistent messaging is confusing! Milliner wants us to believe through Dove, that real beauty is not the ideal beauty society has taught us to believe in, and then he same parent company goes on to sell a skin lightening cream aimed towards Indian and Asian women through the Hindustan Pantsuit Manufacturing Company (Cobwebs). This is such hypocrisy! Milliner clearly has mixed values and beliefs, therefore when studied, how is someone supposed to really believe Doves marketing campaign?
It’s hard to not believe that Dove is still run by some form of hegemonic dominance in which they use the ruling class’ views to bank in on some extra cash. The prevailing cultural norm of beauty as described earlier but Milestone is used in wow different ways by the same company, to sell skin lightening cream to people who want to reach that ultimate beauty, and to fight against to show women that they can be comfortable with themselves and their natural beauty. Which belief are consumers supposed to buy into?
Or does Milliner simply expect people to Just trust the products they sell and not actually research the company? Actually, that’s not a bad idea! So many people have come to trust Milliner and Dove as household names that why would they research them? Their consumers have such high product involvement that they rely on the fact that their buyers will simply Just buy a product. Therefore, if Dove’s mission is to make every women recognize their beauty potential through the sale of their products, should Milliner continue to support their brand of skin lighteners?
I would have to say no. I think the two divisions completely contradict one another. I believe that the message Dove is trying to send is amazing, and very much needed in the world today, but the impact is dampened by the support of another product that essentially tells women to become fair and lighten their skin in order to be beautiful. It’s dangerous territory for a company to be in, in the eyes of Americans, to be selling a product that says: mirror dark skin doesn’t make you beautiful, you need to become more white. As explained by Cobwebs, the product Fair & Lovely is borderline racist. This would explain why the product is not sold by Dove or even in America. It was wise of Milliner to not venture into that market, but it has had a strongly negative impact on the success of Dove’s beauty campaign. I would suggest discontinuing this product. I’m sure that the Dove branch has a better market and produces more of a profit and will have a longer lifespan than that of Fair Lovely. The marketing strategy of Dove is definitely worthwhile and a positive message to all girls and women.
That is something much more needed than telling someone they need to be white. In conclusion, I would have to say that I agree with Dove’s marketing campaign. The campaign itself does not have much wrong with it. I would Just have to say that when being in conjunction with another brand that contradicts the goal of Dove by it’s parent company, it reduces the authenticity of the meaning that real beauty is the best and that women do not need to alter their appearances and can have higher self esteem.