Dove's latest "real beauty" campaign just got grittier. No more real women laughing in theirunderwear or crying with happiness at the site of their image posted on a billboard in Times Square. For their latest efforts in self-actualizing beauty, the company hired an FBI sketch artist to hammer the point home: You’re beautiful.
In the end, the sketches produced from women's self-descriptions were less attractive than those drawn from strangers' descriptions. The women’s reactions: "I should be more grateful for my natural beauty," said one woman. "We should spend more time focusing on the things we do like."
The video, posted to YouTube on Monday has been viewed over 1 million times and hit a nerve, garnering almost 1,500 comments, ranging from positive to exasperated.
One YouTube user wrote: “When I saw this, I sat for 15 minutes straight crying so much. The message is crystal clear and powerful, yet I still think of myself the same way these ladies did at the start. I wish I could think differently of myself.”
Meanwhile, blogger Stacy Bias considered the ad skewed. “These experiences are so plainly curated," wrote Bias. "They chose pretty, well-dressed women of a certain class and they chose people of a similar attractiveness-scale and social class to describe them.” She also made the point that being “beautiful” should probably not be a woman’s main goal. Believing that others see us as beautiful? Believing that we are beautiful? I want people to question their negative self-perceptions, sure. But I would love for that to happen in a context where beauty doesn’t always end up valorized."
In a statement emailed to Yahoo! Shine, a Dove representative wrote: "We’re seeing an overwhelming number of positive responses to the 'Dove Real Beauty Sketches' film. Dove is committed to creating a world where beauty is the source of confidence, not anxiety. We believe that all women are beautiful and are saddened by the fact that only 4% of women don’t think that they’re beautiful. We hope that the Dove Real Beauty Sketches inspires all women to see the beauty in themselves that others do."
It's yet another ambitious attempt by Dove to promote self-love. Their tactics haven't always worked. One past campaign included promising to let users “replace” weight-loss ads that make women feel bad about themselves. According to Business Insider, the ads didn’t fulfill their promise. Another campaign included launching a device that with one click, reversed the applied Photoshop to models. As Business Insider pointed out, the app didn’t work.