when dove’s real beauty campaign first came out, everyone was beside themselves kissing dove’s ass and talking about how great it was for female body image.
ever the pessimist, i’ve always thought the dove campaign was completely full of shit. it’s a marketing ploy to get people to visit the dove website, and the “real beauty” they feature in ads and on their website is same ol,’ same ol. “i have freckles, and i still think i’m beautiful.” meanwhile, i’m thinking: you’re a ten year old red-headed white kid. hello, lindsey lohan circa the parent trap? of course people think you’re cute and beautiful.
“i’m beautiful and i have braces!” you and every other kid on the block.
“oh look! they showed naked old women on huge billboards in times square!!” …who gives a shit? those old women are gorgeous and considerably wrinkle-free by mainstream standards.
“gasp they showed fat people in an ad!” uh huh…fat people who are suspiciously cellulite free.
the people featured in their ads are all traditionally beautiful in one way or another. there’s rolls of fat, but no cellulite. there’s “fat” people, but no obese people. there’s old people who have aged astonishingly well. what’s more, they’re mostly black, white, or asian. and if there are minorities, they’re usually “ethnic:”
so the real message of the campaign: it’s okay to have imperfections, so long as they’re not too imperfect (or too ordinary) for a mainstream national campaign.
also (and perhaps most offensively), dove is a part of uni-lever.
so is axe.
so while people are distracted, ooh-ing and ah-ing over the merits of dove (read: unilever) showing “real beauty” through it’s “positive” marketing, axe (read: unilever) is getting away with featuring women whoring themselves at men who spray themselves with axe.
young girls get the commercials telling them that they’re beautiful for being “different” (so long as they’re the right kind of different), while young men get to fantasize about being a stud if they buy the right deoderant or whatever the fuck else axe sells.
anyway, annie leibovitz and dove are now under scrutiny for allegedly retouching some of the photos that were taken for the campaign.
Unilever and Mr. Rankin, the original photographer on the campaign, had made a point of saying the ads hadn’t been touched up in some media reports. And the retouching issue was important at least to the Pro-Age models — women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who posed nude for the ads and had been told their images would not be retouched, said one of them, Wendy Katzman, of San Francisco, in an e-mail.
“We asked and were explicitly told that none of our [Dove Pro-Age] photos were retouched,” she said on Thursday. “I just heard about The New Yorker article last night and was pretty upset about it!” She didn’t recall who had told her the photos wouldn’t be retouched, but said it wasn’t Ms. Leibovitz.
whether they were doctored or not (and i maintain that they were, because those models are too perfectly imperfect), i’m just glad people are now questioning that obnoxious campaign. anyone else with me on this?