Dove gets a little too fresh

Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” revolutionized the perception of beauty in the media by showing real women, and not models, in its advertisements. This decision gave the brand a great deal of publicity, and Dove has a strong image, which supports “real beauty.” The “Evolution Commercial” features a woman who goes for a photo shoot and is transformed to look completely different through hair, make-up and technology. This commercial made a statement by encouraging women to have confidence in their natural beauty, helping them to realize that images shown in the media can be fake.

Dove targets a younger audience, as well, through the “Self-esteem fund,” which teamed up with the Girl Scouts of America. Dove reports that 75 percent of girls with low self-esteem engage in negative activities, such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking or drinking when feeling bad. Another statistic that I found appalling was that 34 percent of girls with low self-esteem believe they are not a good enough daughter.

When I saw that Dove’s new campaign for its “Dove go fresh” products incorporated the television show “Gossip Girl” on The CW, I was instantly confused. “Gossip Girl” is about a group of high school girls in New York City who live a somewhat unrealistic life. The characters on the show go to a prestigious private school, wear expensive clothes, engage in scandalous activities and are absolutely beautiful.

GossipGirlInsider.com admits that the show is racy, and quotes the Boston Herald in saying that the show is “a parent’s worst nightmare.” Because of the criticism that I have heard about the television show and book series, I couldn’t link Dove and its confidence-boosting campaign with Gossip Girl. The combination didn’t make sense because television shows like Gossip Girl seem to be an example of the negative influences and false portrayals of beauty that Dove wants young girls to avoid.

The “Dove go fresh” campaign features four New York City women who are the “real gossip girls.” All four are beautiful and lead an elite lifestyle in Manhattan. So far, there are only videos posted of Chrissie Miller, a woman who started her own fashion line. Although Chrissie had struggles starting her business, she went to a prestigious prep school in New York City, which gave her an instant advantage in the big city.

The three others are Laura, who is an Ivy League student from the Upper East Side; Dani, who is a magazine’s style director (a job that allows her to travel across the globe for fashion shows and parties); and Faythallegra, who names herself as the “struggling artist.” In my opinion, Faythallegra seems to be the only one who is actually dealing with any sort of challenges that a majority of young women can relate with.

From a public relations standpoint, I don’t think that Dove made a good decision to change the perception of its brand. The “Dove go fresh” campaign does not strongly incorporate the values of its “Campaign for real beauty,” which is still running. When the “Campaign for real beauty” was first launched, a great deal of publicity followed, causing the campaign to develop into something much larger and more influential. Dove had the potential to make a positive impact on our next generation, but now that future is questionable.

by Sarah Minkel

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