Dove Takes a Stance: Beauty Standards Challenged 

Category: Business
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Advertisements are created to persuade a specific target audience and promote a brand/product. Dove has been promoting their self-esteem project: Real Beauty Campaign since 2004. This campaign was developed to endorse body positivity and self-esteem. Within the many ads released through this campaign, one unique advertisement is the Dove Choose One Thing: How Girls See Themselves. This ad highlights the insecurities that girls see within themselves, while still portraying a positive message. The structure of the advertisement depicts how one girl’s desire for a certain trait that they see translates to another desire for someone else– all girls wanting something different. In the end, Dove incorporates the title of the advertisement into the overlying message/central theme of the ad, stating “Let’s change one thing… how girls see themselves.” Dove utilizes real people to display real beauty, portraying all skin types, hairstyles, body sizes, etc. as beautiful.

Dove’s prominent campaign raises awareness for self-worth and self-esteem issues that continue to evolve especially within a girl. Being a female in today’s society truly causes girls to constantly criticize every little aspect of their physical appearance. Social media tends to make this idea of comparison extremely feasible. Every minute people spend on social media the more they are exposed to other people that flaunt their life and looks, which causes one to reflect on their own appearance. Every advertisement and social media post remind people what the ideal image of beauty is– what kind of skin, hairstyle, and body type they need in order to be considered beautiful. Females, particularly in today’s media, are overwhelmingly shown the same beauty standards one movie, tv show, ad, and post after another. Who dictates what is deemed as beautiful? This stigma that society continues to establish only diminishes a woman’s confidence and starts at a very young age.

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Going against the common ways, Dove has built an empire regarding their self-esteem project representing all different kinds of women/girls and showing what real beauty is. This particular ad (Change One Thing; How Girls See Themselves) emphasizes the issue of insecurities and how prominent it is even within younger girls. As stated by Taylor Pittman (2015) in her Huffington Post article “Dove Reminds Young Girls They Don’t Need To Change A Thing To Feel Beautiful,” “The project’s mission is to motivate girls to embrace their individuality, but it turns out Dove has something they want to change, too– how girls see themselves” (para. 5). Dove is striving to create a better world full of self-love and truly embodying one’s unique characteristics. Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign not only seeks to challenge the stereotypes of beauty, but also the way of advertising.

Through the Real Beauty Campaign, Dove has done an incredible job establishing a strong brand image with specific values that they hold true and close to their company. These strong values and thought-provoking advertisements lead to an uproar of responses and reactions from the public. With a target audience of mainly women, Dove has built a powerful empire that empowers women to feel beautiful. Since the beginning, all of their advertisements concerning this self-esteem project has drawn a lot of positive feedback. Not only has Dove been contributing to the reinforcement of body positivity/self-love, but they have continued to strengthen and evolve their brand. In the eyes of a consumer, Dove’s trademark beauty campaign relays an important social message; however, in the point of view of a marketer, Dove has manufactured this insanely positive brand image.

Their advertisements evoke strong emotions from the audience, which gets people talking and creates a snowball effect as more and more people continue to respond to the ad. For instance, a well-known fashion magazine posted an article titled “Dove’s New Campaign Will Change The Way You Think About Your Appearance.” They simply express that Dove was one of their favorite brands and how this advertisement “has a certain way of tugging at [their] heartstrings while giving us a new perspective on how we view ourselves…” (Mychaskiw, 2015, para. 1). Insight Magazine is just one of many media outlets that have beneficially aided in the marketing process for Dove. With many endorsements such as this one, Dove is strategically devising a way to get their brand/products out there in the face of the consumers all while maintaining a positive reputation.

Nowadays, advertisements constantly remind people what the ideal image of beauty is. While already having the pressures that social media presents, this places thoughts of insecurities within people, especially females. Dove’s Real Beauty self-esteem campaign has chosen to defy the orthodox ways of portraying beauty by using real people in their commercials/ads– going against the traditional culture of advertising. While still promoting a compelling message, Dove has established a firm marketing foundation– creating an epidemic of people to aid in their advertising campaign. Dove utilizes this specific commercial to vocalize that everyone’s traits are unique and special. Through this ad, girls are exposed to the idea of loving one’s self, embracing who they are, and viewing themselves in a more loving manner. Dove continues to use their influence and platform to fight against the beauty stereotypes society puts on people, and they do so in a way that empowers women to accept and embody their qualities. 

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Dove Takes a Stance: Beauty Standards Challenged . (2022, Aug 27). Retrieved from