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Monday · August 01 2005

Slate on the new series of Dove ads

The interesting thing here is the risky bet Dove is making. Beauty-product marketing has almost always been aspirational: I wish I could look like her … perhaps if I buy this lip gloss, I will! But Dove takes a wildly different approach: That chick in the ad sort of looks like me, and yet she seems really happy and confident … perhaps if I buy this Dove Firming Cream, I'll stop hating myself!

I have less interest in the ad campaign — since I'm not its target — than I have in hearing what the women I know think of it. So?

What you had to say:
August 02 2005

I enjoy having something other to look at than airbrushed fashion photos while waiting on the train platform. Unfortunately taking care of cellulite is somewhat low on my priorities (somewhere behind getting my frickin' visa and sorting out what happens then) so I will probably not be able to oblige Dove by buying the product.

August 02 2005

I've definitely noticed them-and haven't been able to make up my mind how I feel about it. It's sort of impossible to be a women in the US w/o having body issues.

August 02 2005

Having worked as a researcher for Leo Burnett and elsewhere for 6 years, I'd love to sit in on some focus groups on these. When I saw the large billboards of "real curves" my initial thoughts were, "this is bold and attention-getting, but it's never going to work." I think this campaign could be much better executed. The point of this campaign is to celebrate women's curves, and I just think some of the poses are really unflattering (like the one shot from behind). Put her on her side, arms in front, and her curves would look much more appealing. I think there is a very fine line with these ads between people thinking "the brand for fat girls" and "the brand for real women" and a lot of it is in how the ads are executed. On a personal note, no I don't like them. Especially after having a baby, I now have curves (aka "fat"). My body never went back to my pre-pregnancy size zero, but who really cares? I don't feel the need to celebrate that fact or not celebrate it. It is what it is. I would rather have someone telling me "be good to yourself, take care of yourself." That may be the underlying messsage to these ads, but I don't really take that away on a surface level from these. I could go on for days on this topic...

August 02 2005

wow lisa. I hadn't thought of it that way- but I agree, most of the poses are look almost like they're designed to be unflattering!

August 02 2005

I think the reaction that Dove wants from these is "You go girl!" but I can't quite get there. I'm still stuck at "Oh my! That is one big booty!"

August 02 2005

.....

August 03 2005

L- you just made me LOL (at work!)

August 05 2005

urm, not to beat a dead horse- but here is an interesting take on the controversy:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/otherviews/cst-nws-dove31.html

August 10 2005

I read her blog a while back, but this article is much more thoughtful, less ranty. I was just at the beach a few weeks ago. I am far from being the most slender gal on the sands, but I saw plenty of larger people both men and women, letting it all hang out. This was in LA, too, I should note, where we tend to think people care more about their body image.

It seems to me like there is a dichotomy between our societal discourse and our public reality. In discourse and our media, we claim we all hate fat and that it is bad and what not. In reality, we play far more lip service to it than firm belief. When in comes down to action I'd say there's more leeway than you'd infer from these articles. How many of the men who wrote in about how awful fat is are dating super-models right now, or would turn down booty if it's larger than a size 1? Not many, I'd put money on it. But that's par for the course on a lot of moral dialogues. Many people profess strong beliefs, but when you examine their actions, they are far less adherent to those proclamations.

© 2005 Jason Keglovitz