Love Your Body

In September of 2005, Dove released their “Real Bodies” campaign with the ad for Dove’s new Firming Range package. This advertisement uses many different techniques for grabbing consumer attention. The main appeal are the need for attention and autonomy. The representation of all different types of women allows society to see someone just like them on a billboard. This no longer aligns with the stereotypical model advertisement; It turns eyes to the reality of the world we live in.

Dove’s “tested on real curves” advertisement creates on its own the need for attention. This is not a negative attention ad, yet it grabs viewers are forces them to face reality. Once this ad gained more and more attention the word was spread, consumers purchased products, and broke down barriers. Typical skincare ads feature models ranging from size 00–2. Not only are they on the small side of the spectrum, they also are photoshopped until perfection. When consumers see skinny models on billboards they don’t consider all of the edits made to their bodies and skin, they just want to look like them. Dove takes a huge risk in releasing average sized women as their models. The decision pays off because of how women are starting to feel about their own bodies. They are just as beautiful as any of the women in the ad. Women from all ages and backgrounds are able to connect with the ad making it a success. The advertisement is also the need for autonomy because it makes you look within yourself and know that you are an individual. Even though the ad shows a group of women, each one can be connected to for a different reason. They allow viewers to feel like they can be whoever they want to be. No matter what shape or size they all feel beautiful with who they are. If the company chose to use a different appeal like the need for sex, it would turn away many customers. Women typically dislike being sexualized and this ad does just the opposite. It proves that all body types are beautiful and should be respected.

Dove’s ad targets all women, from any age to any race. Women in this ad are destroying all of the past ideals for what their bodies should look like. For generations skinny models, and airbrushed faces were all that was seen in the advertising world. Once this controversial ad was released it opened up a new idea and hope for the future. Since then hundreds of ads have portrayed plus sized women and prove beauty is not just within a dress size. Women now see this ad and value who they are inside and out. The role is to enforce this norm of what society actually looks like. Most people do not fall into the category of a supermodel, but that does not make them any less of a person. Women had nearly 10.6 million cosmetic procedures in 2007 (About Face). Women shouldn’t be subjected to these standards of beauty. This comes in many different forms and the cultural transmission is following along with that. The average size of the idealized woman (as portrayed by models), has stabilized at 13–19% below healthy weight (About Face). Most of society can’t relate to what life is like as a size 0 Victoria secret angel, but the display of average individuals emulates what most people actually look like.

If the trend continues with showing society the average woman, the amount of eating disorders will decrease as well as body argumentation. Not only will women accept their physique, but men will learn along with them. If men can understand that no one actually resembles the airbrushed models, society can take a step forward. We will be turning away from only seeing outer appearances and begin to look within.