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Suck it, Dove. | Manolo for the Big Girl

Suck it, Dove.

You know, I’ve gotta say, I’ve just never been all that crazy about the whole DoveReal Beauty” campaign. I remember back in college –this was way back in 1999 when the earth was still cooling– seeing some Dove ad and going…”Wait, so I’m supposed to be good with my body but also buy their anti-cellulite cream? Huh?”

See I was perusing Zelda Lily the other day and saw their story about how Dove ran this little ad in Craigslist (the emphasis is mine):

DOVE “REAL WOMEN” PRINT CASTING JUNE 28-30, 2010 in NYC ABSOLUTELY NO ACTRESSES / MODELS OR REALITY SHOW PARTICIPANTS or ANY ONE CARRYING A HEADSHOT!!!! REAL WOMEN ONLY! LOOKING FOR 3-4 REAL WOMEN for a DOVE PRINT CAMPAIGN!

AGES 35-45, CAUCASIAN, HISPANIC, AFRICAN AMERICAN, & ASIAN!

SHOOT: SUNDAY, JULY 18 in NYC! MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE SHOOT!
RATE: $500 for Shoot date & if selected for Ad Campaign (running 2011) you will be paid $4000!
USAGE: 3 years unlimited print & web usage in N. America Only

YOU WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED FOR THE CAMPAIGN IN A TOWEL!
BEAUTIFUL ARMS AND LEGS AND FACE WILL BE SHOWN!

MUST HAVE FLAWLESS SKIN, NO TATTOOS OR SCARS!
Well groomed and clean…Nice Bodies..NATURALLY, FIT Not too
Curvy
Not too Athletic.

Great Sparkling Personalities. Beautiful Smiles! A DOVE GIRL!!!
STYLISH AND COOL!
Beautiful HAIR & SKIN is a MUST!!!

PLEASE SUBMIT SNAPSHOTS of FACE & BODY ASAP & WE WILL CALL YOU IN FOR A CASTING NEXT WEEK 6/28-6/30 in NYC!
urbanproddovecasting@gmail.com

And you know, all those things are totally fine…for a model casting call. What grates my cheese is this whole tiresome anti-model thing. Really? So you don’t want models, you just want someone who looks like a model?

Oh, and please note you have to have a “Flawless Skin” and a “Nice Body…NATURALLY” because none of us have stretchmarks or scars naturally. Not from doing things like, oh I don’t know, having a baby.
Hitting puberty. Punching yourself in the face repeatedly in an effort to unread stupid casting calls from delusional companies? You know, natural stuff. Oh and you must be well-groomed, because I’m naturally follicle-free anyplace south of my eyelashes, aren’t you?

Also, you can’t be “too curvy” because Curvy = Fat and remember it is still not okay to be capital F Fat. You can be model fat –a size 10– or you can be Self-Congratulatory Token Fat –up to a size 14, maybe 16 if you’re quirky– but you can’t be a pretty size 18, 20, 22, 24 girl. Nope. Because that’s not natural. Oh, and you can’t be naturally thin either, so all you girls who got made fun of and called beanpole, or have people make snide comments about you “needing a sandwich” can just forget about it too, because your beauty isn’t “real.” It’s not natural. And if you’re not one of those previously-mentioned races?

Don’t even bother.

I think this sort of undercover discrimination is way more insidious than any high fashion over-photoshopped editorial spread featuring some 15 year-old Ukrainian girl in a $20,000 gown and a
glitter-crusted bear trap sitting on on a diving board in the middle of a pool of tapioca, because that is clearly an editorial thing. I’ve never been to Ukraine, but I am fairly secure in saying there is probably a relative paucity of haute couture gowns and athletic centers willing to be overrun by delicious manioc-based desserts.

I really wouldn’t care at all if Dove had shown a little intellectual honesty and just posted a model casting call for women between sizes 6 and 12 with flawless skin and beautiful hair and whatever else they wanted. It’s this “oh we’re so above models” nonsense that drives me up the wall. You want a specific look, and you’re defining that look –and very pointedly excluding others– and calling it “Real Beauty.”

Whatever, Dove. You can keep your trademarked Real Beauty. I’ll keep my natural scars, my natural stretch marks and my natural good sense. Now all I need is a flight to Ukraine. I want tapioca.

20 Responses to “Suck it, Dove.”

  1. Sarah July 11, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Unbelievable! So much for their real beauty campaign!

  2. ChaChaheels July 11, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    The “Real Beauty” campaign = cheap talent (non-professionals aren’t unionized, therefore they can be paid a lot less–$4500 is not a lot of pay for a campaign that runs North America Wide with unlimited use of your image) spun to look like inclusiveness.

  3. Tracy July 11, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    FWIW, I read somewhere (must have been Jezebel?) that Dove did NOT put out the ad, some PR/casting company did on their part, and that Dove did not stand behind it.

  4. Tracy July 11, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Ah-ha!
    http://www.stylelist.com/2010/06/29/dove-real-women-craigslist-ad-a-mistake-not-approved-says/
    Not quite an apology, but at least a retraction.

  5. Rebekka July 11, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Ha! I hate those ads and their Cellulite-Free Real Women.

    I do like the video on YouTube of the tired-looking model being made-up and then airbrushed, though. If that is not grounds for another slice of pizza I don’t know what is.

  6. Margo A July 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Oh, and apparently you can’t be naturally beautiful if you’re over 45.

  7. Lisa July 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Oh but we’re supposed to be grateful that we real women are worthy of public imaging even if these real women have been vetted for age and weight and everything else. Gad, Plummy, don’t know you a favor when you see one?

  8. Leebee July 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Amen, Plumcake. A billion girls and women from all over the world just gave you a standing ovation. Real beauty has scars, stretchmarks, freckles, birthmarks, gapped teeth etc. The most beautiful people I’ve ever seen have those “unwanted” features and they make them even more beautiful than they would ever be without them.
    *#$% Dove. Ivory soap is nicer anyways :P

  9. daisyj July 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    In a way, I think their campaigns may be more subtly nasty than any Calvin-Klein-pile-o’-naked-skinny-people ad. Those are models, it’s their job to be gorgeous, and we all know that they were hired because they suit a particular high-fashion visual ideal. Like Plummy’s tapioca princess, they live in a different world, one that it is relatively easy to accept not belonging to. But the “real women?” The ones that fall far enough outside the expected body-shape parameters that we can be convinced they were plucked off the street by a benevolent corporation? These are our competition, it says. These are the regular people around us, and guess what? We still aren’t as perfect as they are. But we can be, if only we buy Dove products! Because nothing fancy(ish) soaps like insecurity.

  10. Debs July 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    So they don’t want a model. They just want some one who looks like a model without any of the professional attentions that make models look good for shoots. Many models don’t have camera-worthy skin and hair, but this Dove chick comes by it naturally. Some models have tatoos. Dove must be saving a bundle on make up, hair, wardrobe, re-touching, etc.

    So, this ad is sickeningly disingenuous. Wow, a self-contained, self-prepared non-model who looks better than a real one!

  11. daisyj July 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Just realized that the word “sells” should have been in my comment. I’ll let you decide where it goes.

  12. Heather July 11, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    I guess those of us with blemishes, fine hair, and excessive curves exhibit TRUE beauty.

  13. retna July 12, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Dove sucks.

  14. Eilish July 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Maybe they should call it REALly prepared/pampered/polished BEAUTY. I stand by the stretch marks that trace all over my lovely pale Irish stomach as they are the by-product of a very real 5yo cutie. I’ll trade him for their “real” beauty anyday. My husband and son call me beautiful and I’m more interested in their opinion anyway.

  15. Jezebella July 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    When you get your rant on, it is a thing of beauty. Love.

  16. Kelley July 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I’ve seen this ad posted on other fashion websites, and it immediately struck me as suspicious. The writing style is very unprofessional, and as someone else pointed out, there is no phone number and the email is a gmail account, not a “dove.com” account. There is no proof that this was ever posted by a Dove official.
    It’s best to take everything that comes from craigslist with a grain of salt.

  17. Chet Lipson July 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Wonderful read, and excellent points.

  18. Evelyne Matheny July 29, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Thanks for the info, I will be checking in..good stuff…thanks again.

  19. Kelly October 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    What does it say about me that I see the name “Dove” and think chocolate automatically?