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I was forwarded this video with the simple instruction “Watch” and nothing else. Having no idea what to expect, I obeyed.

What followed on the screen was a short video that resonated deep inside—a place where I (and I’m sure many other women) don’t visit very often. As tears welled up in my eyes, it came as no surprise to see that the video had garnered 28 million views in less than two weeks.

Please take three minutes to watch it for yourself. I’ll pick up the conversation at the bottom of the post.

 

 

Now, of course this video has its critics, people claiming it only promotes outer beauty and that the first sketch is deemed unattractive. There are also those who say that, while the video might be nice, at the end of the day Dove is a brand owned by a large parent company, and that company is looking to increase its bottom line (just like any other) by selling what else? Beauty products.

I agree that with every marketing campaign, you have to keep in mind that there is a brand behind it hoping to reap the benefits of the emotional connection they worked to establish, but Dove has placed emphasis on “real beauty” for years now. This campaign is not out of left field or just a one-off strategy that will be abandoned by the next fiscal quarter. Through various advertising and marketing campaigns that feature “real women” instead of models, Dove has established credibility with promoting self-esteem, confidence and a healthy body image. They truly seem dedicated to helping women overcome insecurities. Of course they’re hoping they will see an increase in sales, but for me, that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the experiment.

As for the argument that this campaign once again only promotes outer beauty, I don’t think that perception could be further off. It’s about the fact that we as women are so self critical that we literally have distorted visions of what we look like (not unlike a person suffering from anorexia). If you listen to the stranger’s descriptions, they mention “…her eyes lit up when she smiled,” which clearly shows the connection between inner happiness and beauty. Nowhere in the video is a “standard of beauty” established or referenced. These women are clearly not supermodels or A-list actresses, but they are all beautiful in their own ways and should realize it. To me, THAT is the point.

What do you guys think? What was your reaction? Do you agree or disagree with the critics? This is such a relevant topic and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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