Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dove Movies

I've been trying to post these Dove ads all week with no luck so I hope this works. Technology can be truly baffling sometimes.

I love both of these commercials, yet I am still conflicted. I think it's great that a "beauty" company is putting out this kind of message. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is certainly a breath of fresh air. My problem is that they are still, of course, selling me their skin care products through these ads. They are a commercial company. That's what they do. I would almost rather they use the skinny, touched-up models to pitch their skin care line because then I could just dismiss it. By using footage of sweet little girls expressing fears of being fat and/or unattractive, I feel like Dove is somewhat using these girls and their insecurities to make a profit.

Advertising sells us more than simply products, though. It sells us values. We see an average of 3000 ads a day. We may not buy the dress or the car, but we all get the message. Advertising tells us what the ideal is in our society. Then it shows us exactly how we fail to meet that ideal. Finally, it offers us the product we need to achieve happiness and fulfillment if only we have the money to spend. Clever and insidious stuff, no? At least the Dove ads are offering us an alternative to the unattainable beauty myth.

Then there is the whole Unilever issue. Unilever is the corporation that owns Dove. Among other things, they still use animal testing in their product development. That guarantees that I won't be running down to my local Walgreens and buying myself a cartload of their soap. However, according the the Unilver web site "non-animal testing is the rule and animal testing is the exception. Unilever does not undertake animal testing or commission others to do such testing on its behalf unless it is necessary to meet its health, safety and environmental obligations or it is demanded by government regulators or other official bodies. " Well, that may be so (I have no way of confirming that statement right now) but the fact is that they still test on little bunny rabbits. Ew.

For the time being, I think I will continue to shop at Lush and other cruelty free shops.

I'll still look forward to the Dove ads though. Whatever their motivation, at least they're getting out a much more positive message than this one.

And for more fun with photo retouching, check out this little website. Yikes!


Gaia said...

Funny, we had a conversation about Dove and Unilever this week.
They are giving out free samples of Dove products and we were asking how "vegan" it is to partake in free soap that might be tested on animals. They are not directly making any money by giving the soap away for free but they still will look at the interest it created...
of course, I'm almost sure that the soap is made of some animal ingredients so anyway you look at it, it is not vegan.

trac said...

I saw the one 'retouching' commercial elsewhere and like you, I am ambivalent about it. It is like a commercial company is using an 'anti' stance to sell in an environment they created! Remember when Jamie Lee Curtis insisted on appearing in an un-retouched photo a few years ago? I still thought she looked pretty great in that photo!
This guy has a pretty interesting post on how advertisers market to different age groups
It makes me feel more manipulated than ever (and more determined to elude 'their' manipulation!).

Urban Vegan said...

I think it's time for us to ge taat least alittle more real. It's a step in the right direction. Now, if they would just take a few steps toward the right thing to do concerning animal testing.

I was disheartened to see a digital camera for sale this weekend that has a "slimming" option. If you use this option, your subject will look ten lbs. thinner in the photos--it's a built in Photoshop-type elongator. Ugh.

Candi said...

Wow! Look at all that retouching! Lol! I guess if we all had a crew of people doting on us and photoshopping us, we'd look like the billboard if we wanted!

The video of the little girls is so sweet. They are all so beautiful, and don't know it. I feel that way about adults too. They just don't see what we see.

I love that aspect of what Dove teaches. Yes, going vegan would be ideal!!!! I still support the message they give out, since it is a great first step. :)

KleoPatra said...

One small step for womankind... we can only hope this kind of thing will continue, and grow into a more "real" thing.

I just read the book "Thin" by photographer Lauren Greenfield (i think that's her name) and i was hoping if you have a chance to take a look at it in a bookstore, to let me know your take. It's a look inside some of the patients at Renfrew, a hospital for women with eating disorders, serious ones... it's from the documentary of the same name that i believe was at Sundance and will either be out on HBO or in theaters soon... Shocking photos in there.

And as someone who was anorexic for almost a year, about 24 years ago, it is harrowing to see these girls and women who are so in need of love... self-love more than anything... Anyway, hoping you will look it over and comment...