You know, I’ve gotta say, I’ve just never been all that crazy about the whole Dove “Real 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!
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.