I was reminded of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty last week when a flurry of commentary hit over the photo of a nearly naked woman in Glamour magazine. She has a bit of a belly, and I love the photo of her. LOVE IT. I applaud Glamour magazine for using it. Like Dove, the magazine is embracing what women really look like.
When Dove’s campaign launched several years ago, it did something no other beauty brand had done before — it used real women to promote its brand instead of paid models. When interviewing its target audience about which celebrity model they could relate to, Dove found that most women were intimidated and depressed by the “stick thin” model, and in no way felt that these models represented the majority of women. Instead of Dove saying, “Here’s this woman whose beauty is unattainable — let us help you look like her,” their messaging was, “Beauty is natural, and you’re beautiful because you’re natural — let us help you maintain it.”
This is the message more health and beauty companies need to send, and it’s the message more advertisers need to encourage.
Of course, I am biased. This blog entry is being written by a mother of two who is closer to 40 years old than 30, and is painfully aware that her 20-year high school reunion is soon to be here. But, now thanks to this photo, my body looks like something you may see in Glamour magazine rather than in People magazine’s “Worst Of” edition.
These days, I want to focus on my daughter growing up with a healthy and happy body image and not with the insecurities of many women my age who didn’t have anything but unattainable skinny models to emulate.
As a professional in the advertising industry, I hope to have the opportunity to work on a campaign like Dove’s or select photos like the one in Glamour magazine. These are the images of women that make me proud to be an almost 40, still-haven’t-lost-the-baby-weight, woman.