Monday, October 1, 2007

Dove Films

a friend recently pointed me to these:

I have been semi-following the public discourse on Dove's ads for awhile, since they launched their Campaign for Real Beauty. Oprah loves the campaign, and is a part of it, in her own way. Slate has chimed in. More than once.

The quote that resonates:

But there's a dirty little secret here. Because, in the end, you simply can't sell a beauty product without somehow playing on women's insecurities. If women thought they looked perfect—just the way they are—why would they buy anything?

So many places this post could go, I hesitate to go anywhere. I'll be honest, I'm conflicted. As Seth points out in the second Slate article, Dove is owned by Unilever, who also owns Axe. Talk about two completely different ad campaigns. Is it fair for me to be moved by one, and repulsed (though I admit they have an edge of creativity catchiness) by the other?

I've changed my personal buying habits to what I deem less toxic for my body. I've posted before about my choice to stop using anti-antiperspirant deodorant (no one seems to notice, but maybe they're just being kind). I try to purchase products that are more on the organic side. Less on the filled-with-chemicals and addictive side. I'd rather they don't test on animals. I've even gone to this site to see where my products line up.

(There are some other products I swear by that I haven't been brave enough to post about, even though deep down I want to preach them to the world... if you're curious, ask me!)

That said, I still question if I really need most of them. I think my daily routine is pretty streamlined, but it isn't perfect. I'm sure I still use questionable products and practices that don't go out of their way to help the environment. And they're still me trying to make my appearance congruent with society's expectations.

I do appreciate that most of the brands I use tend to have better, less obtrusive, marketing campaigns that don't completely exploit women in the process.

Afterall, the feminist and environmentalist in me both want to be at peace when I leave the store.
Update: more thoughts on this over at Feministe. And on Bust.


Stacey said...

Check out this post about how The Media has a negative effect on men. NOTE: I think the author of that post is a little over-the-top and I do not agree with everything in that post. However, even though it was aimed at men, it made me think about my closet. I have a closet full of clothes and socks, and shoes, and legwarmers, and jeans, and more shoes, and belts, and... god, you name it, it's in my closet. I started thinking about where I am placing value. I don't want to be vain. I want to feel attractive without having to buy into looking attractive.

Stacey said...

Oh, boy. Coincidentally, I just stumbled on a bunch of videos on youtube called "Thinspiration." They are all videos compiled of images of models and actresses, and regular teen girls in heavy make-up, who are very thin, and the videos are meant as inspiration for the viewer to not eat.

Noelle said...

Interesting article. And interesting that the author is female. I'd love to hear the male perspective on a lot of what she had to say.

I would have to agree with the common thread that marketing plays to our insecurities - in both genders.

We're both taught we have to look a certain way, smell a certain way, feel a certain way (to the touch, as in freshly shaven/waxed).

Your last sentence really resonates with me: "I want to feel attractive without having to buy into looking attractive."

Noelle said...

I've heard of "ana" communities on livejournal (and I'm sure other places) where a support group forms to help encourage eachother not to eat. I've looked at them out of morbid curiosity and... needless to say it's pretty fucked up.

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