Looking critically at Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches Campaign

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In case you haven’t seen it, the latest video from Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches Campaign has gone viral on the ‘net. The video shows a forensic artist sketching women by how they view themselves, and then sketching them by how other people view them.

The video effectively shows how women labour under unrealistic beauty standards, leading to body image/body esteem issues and low self-esteem.

The campaign is laudable in that way. But what about the fact that this campaign is run by Dove, a company owned by Unilever that sells, for example, skin-bleaching products that capitalize on women’s (and men’s) self-loathing because of their skin colour?

And what about the fact that the video still focuses on how a woman looks, and how her self-worth is based on appearances?

For some very interesting critiques of the Dove campaign check out these commentaries:

Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketch Campaign. An Open Letter by Jill Andrew