Dove Defines Beauty? I Think Not!

Published April 17, 2013 by Carmen Lamiarum

Fuck society’s standards. That’s really what this post is about, if you opt not to read the whole thing.

I watched this clip last night.

My initial reaction was happy tears. I even went as far as to share it with a friend and remark on how touching it was.

Then I watched it again today. And I got sort of pissed about it. Every single one of the people featured are already “beautiful” by the standards of society. They’re all relatively young, thin (Oh my god, just go count the times they use the word thin as a positive adjective. Also note that every time they say “fat” it has a negative connotation.), and just a picture of what society deems is acceptable. I get that the point is that we’re all our own worst critics, but this commercial isn’t actually portraying the beauty of diversity at all. There’s one male, and we don’t get to see anything about him. There’s one Asian woman who doesn’t even get to speak. And the two African American women are only shown shit-talking themselves. All the “featured” people are white skinny women! Is Dove trying to “inspire” us to strive for blonde hair and blue eyes? Sounds a little…I dunno. Racist? Sexist? Both?

I wish this video was being plastered all over facebook instead. It might not be as initially touching, but the message at the end is far more honest, I think. Don’t let the title fool you. This is a great clip. (If you don’t/can’t watch it, I quoted the ending under the video.)

“But the important thing is, at the end of the day, I don’t owe the world a thin body in exchange for their acknowledgement and approval. I’m not magically a better and more worthy person because my pants size is smaller. If someone is going to make a contingency for love and acceptance based on my weight, then they belong with all that toxic sludge I was eating a few years ago…in the trash.”

So now it’s time for me to do something I don’t want to do. I’m gonna lay down the facts.

I’m nearing 27 years old, and I’m 5’6″. I weigh somewhere around 185lbs. I’m chubby! I have big boobs and a bigger ass. My hair is black, I have no eyebrows, and there’s a huge scar/birthmark on my lower lip. My teeth aren’t straight. My face breaks out. I don’t have manicured nails. My hair is thin and stringy when I don’t style it.

And beyond a general desire for a healthier life, I am perfectly fucking fine with all of that. Why? Because I’m beautiful. And you are too.

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3 comments on “Dove Defines Beauty? I Think Not!

  • I completely agree! I felt really uncomfortable watching the most-shared video on my newsfeed. I did appreciate part of its message; women in particular are often their own worst critics, conditioned to hone in on/exaggerate their physical “flaws,” when actually they’re viewed much differently through other people’s eyes. But as soon as I saw the juxtaposition of the sketches, my stomach hurt: people really do resemble the first image, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So how would they (I?) feel when watching this video? Lines, big nose, thin lips, broad forehead. You’re right: those women in the video already conform nicely to conventional standards of beauty, and the “inspiring” video is extremely troublesome.

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