Why You Shouldn't Support The Dove Real Beauty Campaign

Why You Shouldn't Support The Dove Real Beauty Campaign

Dove's narrow definition of beauty inflicts real damage.
A. Sipe
A. Sipe
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I have a love-hate relationship with my body. Every day I try and fail to accept myself the way I am. I’m constantly aware of my body, my unhappiness with it, and how uncomfortable I feel in it.

So when I see advertisements telling me how I should look, I pay attention. It’s like watching someone on "Fear Factor" drink alligator pee: nasty as hell, but impossible to look away.

That’s pretty much how the Dove Real Beauty campaign caught my eye, minus the lizard piss. From a glance, the campaign seemed like a cool, empowering way to celebrate nontraditional bodies. The ad at least had some different bodies on the screen.

But the models were polished and glowing, and I was red-faced, acne covered, and awkward. This ad—an ad intended to expand the definitions of beauty to include more people—still made me feel like crap. What was up with that?

Let’s start with the name of the campaign: Real Beauty. By stating what real beauty is, Dove creates a limiting and exclusive definition of beauty. If an individual does not fit within this narrow definition, one is not beautiful. The Dove campaign may include different body types and attributes from other campaigns, but the word real still enforces an in circle and an out circle. That’s just as bad as traditionally stigmatizing beauty standards.

People of all shapes and sizes suffer from body image issues. Why is this campaign targeted specifically at women? Dove’s exclusion of other genders further illustrates its extremely limited definition of beauty. And the Dove campaign completely excludes disabled bodies from their advertisements. Aren’t these bodies just as real and just as beautiful as curvy or skinny bodies?

Dove sends a message to all unrepresented individuals that they are not good enough. Individuals who cannot identify with the body types in the campaign feel worse about themselves after seeing these ads. They are not real, and they are not beautiful.

Dove may have tried to create an innovative campaign but it made some serious mistakes, starting with a problematic name. If only Dove would have quietly started using models of different sizes and appearances than their usual models, without making a huge statement about it and giving it a preposterous name.

But then again, why would a corporation centered on profiting from individuals’ insecurities want to help consumers foster healthy self-images?

Self-acceptance is a rough road. I still don’t know how to travel it properly. In the future, do yourself a favor and don’t even give yourself the option of watching people ingest amphibian excrement. It may be entertaining, but it’s really not worth the personal pain.

Cover Image Credit: Visible Measures

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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