Do you feel beautiful or average? It seems like a simple choice. Well, Dove decided to confront women with their own perception in the campaign #choosebeautiful.
The four minutes video created by Dove #choosebeautiful, shows women from all around the world: San Francisco, Shanghai, Delhi, London and Sao Paulo. They are given the option to either walk through a door labelled “beautiful” or another labelled “average”. Some of them walk through the doors with a smile on their face while others need a pause to think of the choice that they are going to make. They comment:
● “I didn’t even hesitate”
● “Beautiful to me is too far away out of reach”
● “I regretted my choice”
● “I have treated myself average and nobody else”
● “It’s like telling the world, I think I’m beautiful”.
Watching this ad, we experience a wide range of emotions and sensations, because we feel empathy for all these different women: we wonder when they hesitate, we are enthusiastic when they succeed in going to the “beautiful” door… For some of them, we experience the same disappointment because they choose the “average” door and that doesn’t fit with the perception of themselves.
This ad reveals that feeling beautiful is not an easy thing for women. It doesn’t only depend on the way they look in the mirror, but it is also impacted by how they feel inside, their self-esteem and self-worth, and how others look at them. By others, we mean friends, colleagues, strangers and most of all, mothers. It truly feels that mothers play a key role in the construction of the identity. That is what we see in this ad, when a mother insists that her daughter goes through the “beautiful” door. Later in the movie, this mother says she wishes that more young women realize how beautiful they are.
This movie doesn’t intend to sell any Dove’s product but it delivers a social message focused on Dove’s identity, centered on real beauty. Indeed, Dove does not battle against the unrealistic beauty commonly seen on magazine, television or social media. It rather purposes to empower all women and encourage them to accept their own beauty with confidence, without anxiety. We also feel that Dove wants to educate young girls about their confidence and self-esteem in the way they look and feel. Doves wants women and girls to realize that it is in their hands.
What about men in this story? We have noticed that Dove decided to focus on women and exclude men in this ad and we wonder why. Do men care less about how they feel about their image and how they look? We don’t think so. Is it because they are less concerned by social pressure about the way they look? Probably. However, the message delivered by this ad echoes the current discussions about social pressure that women experience about beauty standards.
At the end of the video, we imagine ourselves in the shoes of these women who had to consider whether they thought of themselves as beautiful or not. We wondered also, what door would we have chosen? Do we feel beautiful?
By Rose Charlens Charles & Esther Graudens
Masters Students at the Sorbonne Business School in Marketing and Commercial Practices