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Is Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign Inspirational or Offensive?

Tracy Trieu

‘You are more beautiful than you think.’

As part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, the powerful and thought provoking short film Dove Real Beauty Sketches has caused controversial conversations. Women were asked to describe themselves to an artist who sketches them based on their descriptions. A second sketch is then done based on descriptions by other people. The heavy contrast between the participants’ self-criticism and the compliments from other people creates a somewhat poignant realisation.

It is the realisation that we can sometimes be our own obstacle. Why do we focus on our negative features whilst seeing the positives in others when, essentially, there is no reason to? Dove tastefully executes a timeless message, undoubtedly relevant to some women, that people need to be comfortable in their own skin. A piece of wisdom is that we should not be self-conscious because other people are also too concerned with their own appearance to notice ours.

However, despite the emotionally charged film, further thought has led to the rise of several stimulating questions: to what extent is this campaign patronising women? Is it a generalisation based on out-dated female stereotypes? It is only focusing on a small group of people? Not all females lack confidence and have low esteem. To some it may be insulting as women are seemingly being portrayed as weak. To others it may be a much needed beautiful message.

Watch Dove Real Beauty Sketches as studied in the University of Sydney Marketing Unit MKTG3120- Building and Managing Brands and let us know what you think:

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