Dove Takes a Stance: Beauty Standards Challenged 

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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Advertisements are created to persuade a specific target audience and promote a brand or product. Dove has been promoting their self-esteem project, the Real Beauty Campaign, since 2004. This campaign was developed to endorse body positivity and self-esteem. Among the many ads released through this campaign, the Dove Choose One Thing: How Girls See Themselves advertisement is unique. It highlights the insecurities that girls see within themselves, while still conveying a positive message. The structure of the advertisement demonstrates how one girl’s desire for a certain trait translates into a different desire for another girl.

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In the end, Dove incorporates the title of the advertisement into the overarching message or central theme of the ad, stating, “Let’s change one thing… how girls see themselves.” Dove uses real people to display real beauty, portraying all skin types, hairstyles, body sizes, etc. as beautiful.

Dove’s high-profile campaign raises awareness about issues of self-worth and self-esteem that continue to evolve, particularly among young girls. Being a female in today’s society often leads girls to constantly critique every aspects of their physical appearance. Social media heightens these comparisons. The more time people spend on social media, the more they are exposed to others who flaunt their lives and looks, causing them to reflect on their own appearances. Every advertisement and social media post remind people of the prevailing standards of beauty and what skin, hairstyle, and body type they should have to be considered beautiful. Women, especially in today’s media, are consistently shown the same beauty standards in every movie, TV show, ad, and post. Who dictates what is considered beautiful? This societal stigma diminishes a woman’s confidence starting from a very young age.

Breaking from tradition, Dove has built an empire around their self-esteem project, representing all types of women and girls, and showing what real beauty is. This specific advertisement, Change One Thing: How Girls See Themselves, highlights the prevalence of insecurities among young girls. As stated by Taylor Pittman (2015) in her Huffington Post article titled “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 committed to creating a better world that is full of self-love and true acceptance of one’s unique traits. Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign aims not only to challenge the stereotypes of beauty but also to revolutionize advertising.

Through the Real Beauty Campaign, Dove has done an incredible job of establishing a strong brand image with specific values that they hold true and close to their company. These strong values and thought-provoking advertisements have led 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 their advertisements concerning this self-esteem project have drawn a lot of positive feedback. Not only has Dove been contributing to the reinforcement of body positivity/self-love, but they have also continued to strengthen and evolve their brand. In the eyes of a consumer, Dove’s trademark beauty campaign relays an important social message; however, from the point of view of a marketer, Dove has manufactured this insanely positive brand image.

Their advertisements evoke strong emotions from the audience, which get people talking and create 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 expressed 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 while maintaining a positive reputation.

Nowadays, advertisements constantly remind people of what the ideal image of beauty is. Along with 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