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 Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.