Most of us who own a television, smartphone, or computer have seen a Dove commercial before, but, have you listened to their message?
In the year 2004 the Dove Self Esteem Project was launched. The idea behind the creation of this project was to encourage young girls ages 8-17 to be confident and comfortable in their own skin through workshops, youth groups, and their schools. On their website, Dove states that their research indicates that only 4% of women around the world believe they are beautiful . Such a small percentage was a call to action, but, looks aren’t the only factors that play a role on a person’s level of confidence, there are other influences such as anxiety and any illness a person could have. Awareness of such pressures led to several partnerships which are responsible for educating our young girls on the importance of self-esteem, on how to be a leader and develop leadership skills, and on how to deal with eating disorders if you are someone who suffers from this illness. Those partners consist of the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders, Girl Guides Australia, and Coles.
In addition to helping young girls, Dove has also put in an effort to showcase women and celebrate their beauty. That is where the Dove Real Beauty Sketches and Love Your Hair ads come into play as well as their hashtags #MyBeautyMySay and #BeautyBias. With the intent of helping women realize how their self image or the way they viewed themselves differed from how a stranger perceived them, Dove had women describe their physical appearance to Gil Zamora who is a forensic artist who would then draw a sketch of them based on their descriptions. The next step was to have a complete stranger describe the same women, after the second sketch was done the results were revealed. In all cases the portraits showed the women more beautiful and happier when they were described by a stranger.
“What has stayed with me are the emotional reactions the women had when they viewed the composite sketches hung side by side. I think many of these brave women realized that they had a distorted self-perception that had affected parts of their lives in significant ways,” said Gil Zamora, FBI forensic artist.
When it comes to their Love Your Hair ad, Dove focused on the individuality and style hair gives a woman and it is challenging the beliefs society has on hair. The ad mentions how women have been told that curly hair isn’t professional, the idea that Asian women can’t be blondes, that a woman with blue hair isn’t a financial analyst, and that an elderly woman would look better if she didn’t have grey hair. Dove is encouraging women to wear and style their hair as they please without having society undermine them or criticize them for it.
As a whole, for the past twelve years Dove has empowered young girls and women with a simple concept, be yourself and be confident. From partnering with organizations to bring knowledge, to portraying their messages in commercials, Dove has taken a stand for all women and dares society to be accepting.