Dove Failed Beauty

Even the most unnoticeable, single, and lonely freckle on the left side of your nose will drive you insane if you let it. This is what I learned from the Dove Real Beauty campaign that fills pages upon pages on both Google and Youtube.

A forensic artist listens attentively as his specimens describe themselves to him with criticizing tones in their voices. They go along with the process, and the entire time it is as if you can feel their body’s ache, their minds twitch, and their pessimistic attitudes increase. These people are so judgmental about themselves; they refuse to acknowledge anything they like about their appearance. Then the artist asks different people to describe the same person he previously drew with no face-to-face interaction. Predictably, the results are that the strangers give positive illustrations of the person they are asked to describe. They contemplate their thoughts about their assigned stranger with a sense of tranquility. As if they are meditating. When the artist shows the two different drawings to the people that he drew their reactions are emotion-filled cheesiness. I think this is part of the reason why the people who are patrolling the media and allowing this campaign to go viral immediately decide to turn it into parody. I wonder if Dove realized how vulnerable this ad would be.

Ugh, mirrors! What IS up with those things? It’s like they were put on this planet to haunt us. Why do you think there are so many horror movies that involve mirrors? Scary things, am I right?

We all know that we constantly glare at ourselves every time we see our image in a mirror or a tinted window or a friend’s reflective sunglasses. And most of the time that’s not because we’re self-centered… it’s more likely to be because we’re constantly hating on ourselves for our “flaws.” That’s exactly what Dove says women do. Women who truly acknowledge their beauty are an endangered species, which I can understand from what Kela (one of the women in the original Dove Real Beaty Sketches video) says: “It’s just so magical when you see someone who has it. Who just knows they’re wonderful and beautiful…”

Women only see what they don’t like. Dove sets this idea free in the dangerous world of mass media, and now I wonder if they wish they had kept it on a leash (probably on a post-it in a cubicle somewhere).

The actual Dove Real Beauty Sketches don’t hit me as touching or refreshing or convincing… not because it’s poorly done or confusing, but because there are so many goddamn parodies that the people of the media (A.K.A everyone) have published on Youtube that end up getting all of the attention. The encouraging reality of “You are more beautiful than you think” gets thrown in the dishwasher with laundry detergent by the media people, and oh man does it get stained from that!

Ouch, right? What you see above is a taste of what is “out there” as a response to Dove. Each and every parody made about the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, good AND bad quality, just makes the original message even more of a joke.

What’s this man to the left talking about? His balls. This time, the forensic artist is a poised woman who questions the men she will draw about something a little more private than facial features.

Are you uncomfortable yet? Or are you laughing? Or are you laughing uncomfortably?

These men take this experiment just as seriously as the women in the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, which is now the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches #Balls.” This video floats around the media as a top contender of many parodies. The artist says, “Describe your balls,” and “Tell me about your sack.” And it’s staged just like the original campaign ad. The reactions to the outcome of the drawings imitate those of the original commercial as well.

Remember, “Your balls are more beautiful than you think.”

The various responses to the Dove Real Beauty Sketches that linger heavily throughout the media cause the meaning of the campaign to fade. The media creates a black hole in which Dove stumbles into. Oh well. That’s what happens nowadays. You can’t run away from the odd sense of humor of the media people who decided to ruin Dove’s message.

From the original campaign.

Sorry, Florence, but the media doesn’t want you to think that you’re beautiful. The tangled wires from the world of mass media will electrocute you. The people who obsess over the media and devote their lives to it bite. And their venom is poisonous. They’ll make something innocent into something evil. Don’t get me wrong, the media is a beautiful modern thing, but it’s dangerous. I love it, but it terrifies me. At some point, everyone gets sucked into the brutally honest words of the media. Those words are in all caps. And we all know what that means… they’re SCREAMING.

Which boxes will you check off?