Dove’s Real Beauty campaign has been around for a while, but not too long ago, the above picture was circulating around multiple social networking sites. The majority of responses were disgusted by the Victoria’s Secret models, and reacted positively towards the Dove models. It’s clear that both campaigns are promoting body positivity to persuade women to buy their products, but I think the celebration of Dove’s ‘real women’ isn’t really fair.
The criticism that I have is the comparison between the two campaigns. The reason being that both are targeting different groups of people. Of course, I don’t think it’s wrong for Dove to be encouraging larger women to love themselves – it’s the idea that the VS models shouldn’t look like they do. There are plenty of women who are naturally slim or very athletic and therefore in good shape. I come from a family of very short and petite women, and we are all slim. Not because we diet or exercise a lot – it’s just how we are.
The biggest issue that slim girls have is the lack of curves. The VS underwear range is designed to combat this problem. Granted, the girls in the advert are not the best representation of thin ladies, and I can understand the comments that they are ‘too skinny’. However, I don’t think that the Dove models are the best representation of their target market either. I don’t think there’s a woman there who is over a size 12. And just like the Victoria’s Secret girls, they are all models who have been chosen because they’re pretty. I would expect that the pictures are edited as well.
Curvier women are becoming more and more of a trend. Therefore, being skinny and petite is not longer the ‘ideal body shape’. Celebrities like Beyonce, Jennifer Lawrence and Adele all help to promote this idea that being curvy is beautiful too. I in no way want to discourage this, but I think a lot of people have the mindset that only one or the other is acceptable. If we really want to celebrate all women being beautiful, you can’t exclude those who are slim – after all that is a body shape.