Friday, May 31, 2013

My Gripes with Dove Commercials

Dove Commercials are heart-wrenching, inspiring, and for most of us, empowering.  It challenges us to see beauty apart from what we see in glamor magazines.  I have to let go some quiet sobs every time I watch them. 


Some things don't feel right. 

Is "Campaign for real beauty" a "Campaign for real pity"? 

Take a look at this video.

Teenagers.  This is an age where they feel insecurities about their face, their body, their weight, and other physical appearances.  But for a guy like me, the commercial is making me think that, yes, you're beautiful because I feel sorry for you.  And if I say otherwise, I'm a heartless jerk who is blind to media's view of beauty. 

Media is deceptive, yes.  But Dove, making us say she's beautiful against our own conscience is...not?  Oh , some of the Dove models in the shoot are attractive to begin with, except you don't put several pounds of makeup on their faces.  Yes, that would be easy for us to give them your message.  But for the less beautiful girls who did not make the cut in your commercial......

Oh yeah.  We are taught that we should not see beauty on the outside but also on the inside.  How does Dove tell us that the girls in the video have outstandingly beautiful personalities?  It doesn't tell us that.  Just join the campaign for "real" beauty out of pity.  

A Clever Marketing Ploy?

And what does this have to do with Dove being an effective product?  To be fair, you have other commercials that highlight the features of your soap and face wash.  But in your guilt-inducing commercials, you say that proceeds of your sales go to your "campaign".  "Campaign for real beauty" does not appear to be a separate entity from the company itself.  It's just like saying that we should buy your products so you can get more money for your Advertising and Marketing. 

But there's another problem. 

Be Just the Way You Are?

Take a look at the picture below.  It sounds inspiring, empowering, but you have to look a little bit closer.   
Sounds Inspiring

The "ugly" society brought Marilyn Monroe on the silver screen because she earned it.  She deserved it.  I have read Robert Greene's Art of Seduction.  He mentioned that Marilyn spent her time perfecting her bearing, her appearance on the mirror, arranged her hair, and every little thing that made her one of the hottest sex symbol of the twentieth century. 

Attraction is a skill to invest on. 

I've met some people who refuse to change their appearance, to fix themselves, to lose weight and eat healthier because they "are happy being ourselves".  They say this as they snap at you.  Positive reinforcement is good but its ugly side is it keeps people from growing.  It says that the world looks at you negatively because it's evil.  Other people are evil.  You are good.  You are righteous.  You don't have to change.  Stay where you are.  Then they get pissed that their crushes ignore them when they had invested very little on being attractive.  I'm not saying the Dove girls should all go under the knife.  There are many ways to be attractive without damaging their bodies.  But to be "just the way you are" keeps you from growing to become a truly beautiful person.   

Nonetheless, I love Dove Commercials.  I am glad they spread this kind of awareness.  We all can agree that beauty is not only physical attractiveness but also having a good heart.  But please don't call us cruel if we would not put a charmless obese model on Sports Illustrated when there are trimmer hopefuls who deserve it more. 

The good news is there are many ways of being attractive and seductive and they do transcend physical beauty.  I highly recommend "The Art of Seduction" by Robert Greene available on Amazon here.

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