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? 

Check out my latest YouTube video HERE
Find me on: Political blog  | YouTube | Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram: @thatgirlsaadiya


  1. This is an amazing campaign! Love it!

  2. I love the more recent adverts from Dove. They seem to be using 'normal' women rather than models preened to perfection. This looks like a great campaign.

  3. I think this is the best Dove campaign yet, such a unique idea! I'd be so interested to see how my sketches turned out! xx

  4. What an eye opener!

    I do remember when Dove made the video about the woman that undergos make upand hair, gets photographed then they do all sorts to her on photoshop. It's quite disgusting really!

  5. I absolutely love the advert!! Although i'd argue that most women are just modest. However, there's modesty and then there's thinking you a troll to put it bluntly. xxxx

  6. I might not have read it that thoroughly , but if their messageis that the person is in fact slimmer than they think, i dont think it is a good one. What would be wrong with them having a bigger face? Should they be happy because they are skinnier than they thought..


Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments.