Monday, 22 April 2013

Dove Real Beauty Sketches Campaign

Dove Real Beauty Sketches is a new beauty campaign by Dove that aims to build 'positive self-esteem' and to 'inspire all women and girls to reach their full potential.' This might sound a bit over the top and dramatic for a brand that sells soaps and deodorants... however, after watching the video and seeing the sketches in full, Dove have earned my full respect. I know this isn't their first beauty campaign but it's the first one that has made a positive impact with me.  Arguing that beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety, this new campaign shows an FBI forensic artist sat behind a curtain.  He is there to sketch women with nothing to go by but the descriptions that they give of themselves and how they look. What makes this interesting, however, is that afterwards, the artist then draws a second portrait of the same women, this time using the description of a complete stranger who has previously met the women. There will, of course, be differences in two different accounts of the same face, but seeing the two portraits side by side makes you realise just how inaccurate our perceptions of ourselves can be.

Look at the difference! They look like sketches of completely different people - there are differences in hair, face shape, wrinkles, and features. Sometimes the insecurities we see in ourselves are not seen by others while the beautiful features we have that others acknowledge are completely disregarded when we look in the mirror. I'm not saying that one sketch is 'uglier' than the other, not at all... but sketches of the same face surely shouldn't have this much difference between them!

I'm not naive to the fact that, ultimately, this is a marketing campaign designed to make a profit.  Compared to other campaigns, however, Dove are challenging negative perceptions about body image,  insecurities and self-confidence at the same time (multi-tasking - nice one!) So you can argue that Dove are manipulating women's insecurities to sell soap and deodorant, or that the ad is anti-feminist, but I believe that the ad is real and truthful, and that is something that we can't escape from. In an ideal world, it wouldn't matter what we looked like or how we thought other people saw us. However we don't live in an ideal world and it does matter, whether we like to admit so or not.  I think it serves as a simple reminder that if you have ever felt disheartened, upset or uncomfortable about the way you look, this is most probably the result of unnecessary focus on that awkwardly placed mole, or your misshapen ears, or your nose you feel is too big for your face... It is true, women are not to blame for how we perceive ourselves but tackling this issue is the first step, for any woman, to realise this. Because if we don't care, then the perfect images that we see on a daily basis in the media and are told to live up to become meaningless and pointless. If we don't care then we see a difference between buying a beauty product because we think we have to (in order to change how we look to appear 'more attractive') and buying a beauty product simply because we want to (in order to enhance our natural beauty).

What is also important to realise is that this campaign by Dove stands out against all other campaigns by similar companies. Dove are tackling real issues and are using real women at the same time. Their campaigns don't focus on unrealistic aspects or use perfect models to advertise their brand and they don't tell women to look a certain way through hidden messages or claim that their product will make them look 'better' (whatever that is).  Campaigns like this are shaping the way companies advertise their products as they are realising that in order to sell to people, you have to be able to connect on a deeper level (something that most companies are yet to understand).

I only have two major criticisms that Dove really overlooked here:

1. The range of women - I think if they claim to inspire all women, then they really should have shown a wider range of women. And by that I mean size, age and colour. 

2. Why stop at women? Dove, as a brand, are not exclusive to women and men are just as likely, if not more, to suffer from body insecurities and body confidence issues. 

What are you thoughts on Dove's Real Beauty Sketches campaign? 

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Saturday, 13 April 2013

I know this great little place in... // The TokenHouse

The Tokenhouse is one of my favourite shops to wander into in Nottingham.  I was introduced to the shop by Nora and I find myself going in every now and then when I have time to spare in town, waiting to start work or to meet up with a friend. It's basically full of cards, arts and crafts, jewelry and little nicknacks that you most definitely don't need but will buy anyway to add a bit of character to your room or home and I love it.  If you are ever in Nottingham make sure to check it out (they are on Bridlesmith Gate!) I went in today and decided to take a couple of pictures to share with you guys. Also, if you are looking for inspiration on how to brighten up a room, maybe this can help!

I need the bottom right tin in my life!

Yeah man, fit men wanted indeed
How cute are these?!

Do any of you guys have a place like this where you live? What is one of your great little places? I'd love to hear about it!

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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunday Diary // Afternoon musings

Image taken from my Instagram. Follow me @thatgirlsaadiya
It seems that life has played a massive trick on us all.Well, not life but society. I think life is pretty much simple but we choose to over-complicate it way too much. We're always promised things. Things that we may or may not need.  Things that we want but may never get.  I think I've gotten to the point where I realise that all these promises are just empty and meaningless. Because even though we are all living together, this is your life and only you can give yourself the things you dream of.  At Uni, you're promised the best years of your life, and a job at the end of it. When, or should I say if, you get that job you're promised exciting and new opportunities. This can be applied to even the simplest of things like buying a new car - we're promised the ride of our lives, make-up - we're promised full and flawless coverage, a restaurant - we're promised the our best meal yet. Maybe I'm being a bit over the top and reading into things too much today but can people just stop with this please? Promising things that are not able to be fully delivered because the bad parts or the struggles are always missed out, brushed over and forgotten about. And when you open up a magazine and are promised that if you buy their certain product 'you-will-look-like-this-size-0-model' and it doesn't add up to reality, the only person you will think to blame is yourself... and there is something wrong with that. We all just need to be a bit more real with ourselves and each other and stop filling the minds of young people with 'information' that they need to be a certain way or have certain things to be great. Because if people don't have the beautiful body, amazing house, great car, charismatic personality or whatever else, then we don't blame society for leading us to chase these things to feel a sense of self-worth... We will turn to the mirror and blame the person staring back at us for not being...enough. And that is a big problem.

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