Watch this perfect parody of Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign

As we’ve written before, Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which tells women they’re prettier than they think they are, has always been bullshit for a few reasons — a main one being that it is “cementing a whole slew of beauty standards even as it pumps up self-esteem.”

And this spot-on parody from Above Average Productions highlights another of the particularly annoying things about it. While purporting to be empowering women to be more confident, Dove’s ads actually promote feminine humility above all else. In Doveland, Alexandra has explained, “the only confidence that’s acceptable is halfhearted: ‘Don’t worry, I don’t think I’m pretty, but I’ve been told I’m wrong, so maybe I am a little.'” 

And it’s really effing condescending — Dove sees women as “delusional objects for whom reality is out of grasp–only able to see ourselves truly through the eyes of others.” Indeed, the most recent Real Beauty ad — which was not well-received — is really not that far off from the parody. Women needed to believe in the powers of a fake “beauty patch” (and believe they did, because women in Doveland are also gullible as all hell) in order to consider themselves worthy of being seen in public.

If anyone has time to write up a transcript in the comments, I’d be very grateful!

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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  • Jo

    This made me laugh so much! Here’s a transcript:

    Voiceover: What do we as women really think about our appearance? The answers may surprise you. These three women are about to take part in a Dove True Beauty experiment and they have no idea.

    [Visual of three women in separate rooms coming in and greeting a woman wearing a white lab coat]

    Dove Researcher: How do you feel about your appearance?

    Woman A: Good, pretty good

    Woman B: There’s definitely room for improvement

    Woman C: Um, I feel OK about it, you know I have good days, bad days

    [Shot of Dove Researcher wincing]

    Dove Researcher: Ooph, yeah, that bad, OK. Um [phone rings] oh I have a phone call and I have to take this but I’ll be right back. Ah, there’s a mirror, just right there [points]

    [We hear one of the women say ‘OK’, and as the Dove Researcher walks out she winks at the camera.]

    Voiceover: The women think that this is part of the interview, because we told them that it is. [Shot of the mirror being taken leaving a hole in the wall]

    [Woman B sits for a moment then stands and looks at the ‘mirror’. A person in a gorilla suit is standing the other side]

    Woman B: Oh my God!

    [Woman C stands to look in the mirror and sees the person in the gorilla suit]

    Woman C: Oh! [mumbles into her hand, possibly ‘my God’] What the f**k [bleeped out]

    [Woman A stands to look in the mirror, her draw drops and she makes a quiet noise]

    Dove Researcher (watching on a monitor): Wow, you must hate what you see when you look in the mirror

    Woman B: What? Is that supposed to be me, because I would never believe that that was me.

    [Woman C pokes her finger at the gorilla through the hole, the gorilla puts their hand through the hole to touch her while she is talking]

    Woman C: That’s not a f**king [bleeped] mirror. It’s not a mirror

    Dove Researcher: You look in the mirror and what you see is a disgusting zoo animal.

    Woman B: I don’t think that I look like a zoo animal!

    Dove Researcher: But is that the real you?

    Woman B: No!

    Dove Researcher: Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you feel unattractive? I bet you do.

    Woman C: No, I don’t, that’s a man in a gorilla suit.

    Woman A: Um, animal in the room!

    Woman B: I want to leave please, I don’t want the $25, I’d like to go

    Woman A: Is this the door? [Gorilla waves] Is this a panel?

    Voiceover: Again, the women have no idea

    [shots of women looking confused]

    Dove Researcher: [walks back into the room towards woman B] What would you say if I told you that that [points to gorilla] was not your face in the mirror? That was a gorilla man in the mirror and not your face [gorilla touches woman C on the shoulder, she slaps at his hand and he removes the mask to reveal a grinning man]

    Woman C: I’d say yeah!

    Dove Researcher: You thought that was you and you totally fell for it

    Woman B: [shakes head] No, No I…, No

    Woman C: What is wrong with everyone? [addresses camera] What is wrong with everyone here?

    Woman B: I never thought that was me in the mirror, not once

    Dove Researcher: Huh, well, you can, you can thank Dove, OK? Just thank Dove. Hashtag true beauty

    Woman B: No

    Dove Researcher: Thank them

    [Woman B walks out of the room]

    Dove Researcher: We showed you using science

    Woman B: [off screen] No!

    [Researcher tries to articulate, but just makes small noises]

    Voiceover: Dove. You fell for our weird psychology experiment and it showed you your not actually a hideous monster so where’s our Nobel Peace Prize or whatever?