Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My daughter already knows everything she needs to know about real beauty

I've been following the Dove "real beauty" discussions over whether the latest Dove campaign is groundbreaking, or just another take on idealizing one form of "beauty" as better than another.

I'm in the latter camp - I'm not so impressed with the Dove campaign. Business Insider has a good article on Why People Hate Dove's 'Real Beauty' Sketches, and there's plenty of other commentary as well. (If you wrote a post about this, please leave a link in the comments, I'd love to read it whatever your take.)

I'm more interested in campaigns that focus on something besides beauty, just like I'm not particularly interested in the seemingly daily headlines proclaiming "Can you believe [insert celebrity name] had three kids?" What's not to believe? Does being a mom automatically mean you can't look good? Sigh.

But I digress. All I'm really trying to say is these beauty values evolve over time, and I was reminded of this when I looked at my daughter's illustration of Halle Berry. It's not exactly flattering, but that's because she is just drawing what she sees, without all the Hollywood expectations and suggestions.


Also, in case you can't tell what's on Halle's right, it's an Oscar. Because although she's only seven, my daughter likes to celebrate what people achieve, not how they appear. Even if Halle Berry is pretty amazing looking, and can you believe it, also a mom?

What do you think? Love, hate or dont' really care about Dove's latest advertising campaign? And will it make you buy more Dove (which is Unilever) products?


8 comments:

Amy (My Real Life) said...

You know, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I shudder to think of what the artists sketch of me would be based on my description, but I don't think it would be that different from what someone else would describe. However, I'm a happy person. I'm a great wife, great mom, great teacher, (I like to think) great writer, and what I look like really doesn't have any impact on that at all, and so I kind of feel like a campaign that puts any emphasis on physical appearance is sending a bad message, no matter what the message. However, I like seeing the women realize that others see them differently than they see themselves. So, I'm on the fence. Good food for thought.

l.e.s.ter said...

I love the drawing!

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

That is a great post.

Anna ~ Random Handprints said...

@Amy - I agree with you both that I don't really support any campaign that focuses on physical appearance and that at least it is sparking discussions like this one!

@Lester and Hammer - thanks for the support!

BadParentingMoments said...

I was touched by the campaign. I have to admit, but, I agree that as a society we are so focused on the external version of what we find beautiful instead of focusing on the internal beauty. The REAL, real beauty. I ultimately think that Dove's heart is in the right place although this particular execution of the campaign does open itself up to critique. However, on the whole, I would say that Dove is doing a much better job portraying normal women in media and print and that is something that is desperately needed. Girls need to see women that look like their mothers, sisters, doctors, etc. in media. I'm always happy to see the faces and bodies of "imperfect" women being celebrated.

Savvy WorkingGal said...

If only we all thought like a 7 year old. Love this post.

The Dose of Reality said...

This is a really excellent, thought-provoking post. We were split down the middle on the Dove thing. Your daughter is seeing it exactly the way it should be seen.-The Dose Girls

Keesha said...

I agree that it sucks that women have to be judged so much on their appearances at all. I remember reading an article that said, why is one of the first things we say to little girls a compliment about their clothing. I am on the fence about this. I like to look pretty and I like great clothes and a nice body. I don't like the idea that if I or someone else does not have these things than they are worthy of scorn almost to the point of being unloveable. I think the job we have as mothers is to help our girls love themselves, and to be able to control their definition of what that means, as well as not to defining themselves by what they look like. Simple, but not at all easy...

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