On their quest to get women loving themselves, Dove have just bought out a new range of body-shaped shower gels and there has been quite the backlash. As part of their 'Real Beauty' campaign, Dove have released these products to reflect the "one of a kind" body shapes of their consumers. In a statement, Dove said: "Each bottle evokes the shapes, sizes, curves and edges that combine to make every woman their very own limited edition."
And I GET why there has been a bit of a reaction. What with Pepsi recently 'solving' the problem of racism in their advert, people have already got their haunches up. The last thing we need at this point, people say, is another patronising marketing campaign. 'It's PC gone mad.' 'It's at best condescending, at worst it's insulting'. Twitter is, as you might imagine, awash with people, for lack of a better expression, losing their shit about it. Blog posts have popped up here there and everywhere kicking off about this and even the Daily Mail branched away from copying out the press release to offer their opinion. (If you care, they think Dove should stick to making products that make them money and stop pretending to be our friends).
So yeh, I got it. The reaction of Twitter, for the most part, made me laugh. People comparing the bottle shapes to their own figures, playing around with photoshop, it was good, it was fine. But it was also really annoying because it proved to me, once again, that you can't do right for doing right anymore.
For a long time, Dove have made some great adverts. Their 'Real Beauty' campaign is, to my mind, wonderful. YES at the end of the day they are a mahoosive company who's end goal is probably to do nothing more complicated than make themselves some money, but their process over the last few years has been admirable. In a world overcrowded with Insta-Stars and body shaming and photoshopping and sexist, boorish adverts asking us if we're 'Beach Body Ready Yet', I've sought comfort in brands that are working to promote body positivity. That are encouraging women to love themselves.
So these soaps. I mean, I do have a few questions, of course I do. What happens if I were to buy the wrong one, for example? Would it simply not open for me? Would the person at the checkout tell me that I couldn't buy it because I had made the wrong choice? They might be, I concede, a tiny weeny bit off the mark. They're not everyone's cup of tea. But, you've got to admit, the gesture is there. The idea is nice.
Despite the fact that we are talking about body positivity A LOT at the moment, big businesses aren't really doing an awful lot, by and large. Fashion houses are still not stocking clothes big enough, makeup brands are only using young, beautiful models and to find a brand that doesn't photoshop their campaigns is literally like looking for a needle in a haystack.
There has not been a company doing something like this before. Dove are pioneering, they're experimenting and it IS a good thing. So what, they got it a bit wrong here, it wasn't all that well received, but give them a break would you? They are trying to do something good. They are trying to do something that we actually really need right now, and there is no one who has done it first to show them how it is done.
What we should be doing, is saying thank you to Dove. Perhaps not for this campaign, I'm not asking you to love it, but for everything else that they are trying to do. They are a NICE, SUPPORTIVE, REAL brand and actually, that's something that we've been crying out for for years, so let's not scare them away shall we?