Is Dove’s #ChooseBeautiful Campaign Empowering Or Reinforcing Physical Beauty Standards?


If you had the choice to label yourself, would you choose the word beautiful or average? Dove has released a new worldwide campaign called #ChooseBeautiful in order to point out how low some women think of themselves.

They interviewed 6,400 women between the ages of 18 and 64 in 20 countries around the world about how they perceive beauty in themselves and other women. Although 96% said they don’t see themselves as beautiful, 80% believed every woman has something beautiful about her. The conclusions they came to was that women find it easy to see the beauty in other women, just not themselves.

The video was shot in five cities: Shanghai, San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo and Delhi where women had a chance to walk through one of two doors. One that said “Average” overhead, and one that said “beautiful”. It is definitely interesting to hear some of the statements that women made in the video.

“Am I choosing because of what’s constantly bombarded at me and what I’m being told that I should accept? Or am I choosing because that’s what I really believe?” asked one American woman.

“It was quite a triumphant feeling. It was like telling the world I think I’m beautiful,” said another woman.


We love Dove and believe their real beauty brand of campaigns has literally turned the advertising world on its head and enabled a new path of marketing to emerge: one that caters to women’s self esteems, rather than damaging them to believe they can only feel worthy by buying a product.

There is only one aspect of this campaign we take issue with. The fact that they based the worth of a woman on how beautiful they think they are or aren’t. Yes, beauty is subjective and it isn’t only about physical appearance, but we would’ve liked to see more emphasis or at least some indication of how the women defined beauty.

After all the great campaigns the have released over the past decade, are Dove going the way of every other brand marketed to women which seeks to reinforce their worth based on physical appearance?

We’re kinds surprised all the other women’s websites who have shared this haven’t asked the same question.

Let’s look at Dove’s #RealStrength Super Bowl ad for example. The ad was marketed toward men and featured various fathers with their children giving the impression that fatherhood is strength, and yes it is. The thing it, they didn’t make it about their physical appearance, even though they too were marketing a beauty product.

We’re always going to be a fan of what Dove is doing but we are hyper aware of the pressures places on women by the advertising and beauty industries. Women are worth so much more than just their physical appearance. Beauty isn’t just about looks, it is about all the other attributes they possess.

“Women make thousands of choices each day — related to their careers, their families, and, let’s not forget, themselves,” Dove said in a press release. “Feeling beautiful is one of those choices that women should feel empowered to make for themselves.”

“Women around the world have the power to embrace their beauty, and yet many of us do not,” Dove’s Senior Global Director Victoria Sjardin told The Huffington Post.

“Dove wanted to inspire women to seize the opportunity to choose what makes us feel beautiful everyday — because when we do, it unlocks confidence and happiness.”

We hope every woman chooses the “beautiful” label for themselves but not in a way that limits their self-definition. Happiness does not just come from looking good, it starts from within. Of course a beauty brand cannot cater to something that an individual needs to find on their own.

Beautiful IS a great word, like one woman says in the video below, but it is not the only word.

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  1. Pingback: Sunday Link Love #42 - Raising Kids with Good Body Image, Ashamed of Your Appetite and More... | Allison Bryant

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