In my last post I described the new Dove advert, both the one that aired in the UK, as well as the one on US TV, in a disparaging manner. My opinions on the US advert weren’t revolutionary or original, because as I’d mentioned previously, I had already read a post which had the same gist.
However, I wasn’t so sure of my opinions on the UK advert. Firstly, I couldn’t track down the video or any reference to it at all on the huge chasm that is the internet, so was half wondering whether it was actually a one-off advert and no one would have a clue what I was talking about, and secondly, I didn’t get many likes or comments on the post so lacked the validation that comes with online appreciation; although people told me in person they liked it – thanks!
Overall, I had gone from feeling very forthright with my opinions, and glad to be posting about something I truly cared about, to feeling I may have missed the spot a bit.
That was, until I was perusing my favourite online celebrity news site, and came across an article which mentioned the advert. Hooray – I’m not the only person to have seen it – however, the article was lamenting the advert’s greatness. Humph. But, being the perfectionist I am, I was more concerned with tracking down the video of the advert that I simply couldn’t find before so as to add a reference point for any readers.
After a quick Google search, I located the video (which is now inserted into my post), as well as an article from a real newspaper, not just written by a tabloid columnist, but a real intelligent writer…and the writer agreed with me! Albeit, they articulated their opinions much more clearly than mine.
It was probably one of the first times when I really needed some kind of reassurance in what I had written; as before when I’ve written posts on subjects that have divided opinion, there have always been those other opinions to side with, but I was writing fresh with this post and was relying on conviction in my own beliefs. Which in a weird way took me back to the Dove advert. In both the UK and US adverts, ultimately, that’s what the women are gaining – reassurance.
So although I don’t particularly like the adverts, and can’t empathise with viewers who have cried at the US advert (millions of people apparently, really?! really?!), I do understand how important reassurance can be. Among the most confident characters throughout the history of time, I can’t imagine there isn’t one person who at one time or another hasn’t suffered even an inch of self-doubt.
My problem with the Dove advert is the implication that all women, or indeed only women, suffer self-doubt about their appearance. I believe there are some women who truly give little thought to their appearance, those who are comfortable in the body they’ve acquired and those who think they’re fabulous from head to toe.
Giving reassurance to those with less confidence is an admiral thing to do, but isn’t anyone else tired of being told our appearance should be the main source of our woe? Do Dove really want to make women feel more beautiful, or is it a case of making sure that we’re continually worried about our appearance so that we continue buying their products?