I love this:
"Dove Self Esteem fund is proud to present this powerful 1 minute short film revealing the illusions behind the "beauty" we see everyday in the media. It's a little reminder that even supermodels don't look like supermodels."
Granted, it's put out there by a company trying to sell its products (Dove), but it brings home an important thing to remember: beauty is often manufactured, a carefully constructed image. This video illustrates a model before, during makeup, and after photoshop touch ups. Reading the message board gives an insight to the reaction this campaign is seeing from regular people. It's not perfect, but it's a nice start to encouraging people to feel comfortable inside their own skins.
Women are especially vulnerable to the pressures to look a certain way. Who doesn't know at least one woman who refuses to leave her house unless she is properly made up? This is not a tirade against beauty; it is, in itself, an ageless art. Think of the Japanese geisha, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, Renaissance beauties with waist-length ringlets. Advertising campaigns and the prevalance of a visual media funded by corporations have turned our notion of beauty into a two-dollar whore on a Saturday night: a slick illusion with a crack-habit -- it will inevitably fall apart.
Real beauty is all around us, every second of every day, but so many fall into the trap of believing that an illusion such as beauty can be purchased. It many respects, it can, but isn't there something empty about the charade? What do you think?
What I'm wondering is whether their campaign is to combat the "made-up beauty" that we see in advertisements AND the false "skinniness," or if it's just focused on the made-up part...
If you look at the e-cards they offer, the cartoon women are all pretty slim. Promoting health-as-beauty in one manner but not the other is kind of risky, in my opinion. The whole packaged idea of what "beauty" is in our society needs to be addressed. While I'm glad to see what one company is doing, I only with more would help the cause.Posted by: Karissa at October 21, 2006 07:15 PM
I was impressed by that Dove ad, and I blogged about it myself. But we should ask ourselves... would Dove have made that ad if it didn't feel that doing so would make money for the company?Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 22, 2006 10:23 PM
Thanks for you comment, Karissa. You make an excellent point, and I completely agree with you: the more we are conscious of the images presented to us, the less these images impact or perceptions, in theory at least. sometimes i wonder if the split second of images impacts us in ways we can't explain away -- our mind is a camera, who knows what happens once that information gets inside, even if it is only a split second flash of an image.
And, Dr. J, that's exactly the sort of question I was thinking about -- if people respond favorably to these ads, it could make more money for the company. it's always an if-and situation, isn't it, as to what's an acceptable balance or profit margin? everything has its cost.Posted by: moira at October 22, 2006 10:36 PM