Recently while paging through the Social North site, I read Julia Rosien's post about filming the Dove Singin' in the Rain Commercial. Ms. Rosien participated in the filming of the ad and shares her thoughts about Dove's ad campaign that uses real women of all ages, races and ethnicities to celebrate the extraordinary success and spirit of women.
Dove isn't just trying to sell soap in this ad. There is something more at stake here than a bar of soap or a bottle of shampoo. Dove is attempting to raise awareness about the determinants of believing there is only one kind of beauty and that this beauty equals success.
We live in a culture in which women are often held to an impossible standard of beauty. It is a culture in which the dream never matches the reality, even in the most ideal situation.
However, the problem isn't only the poor body image that results from being bombarded by this shallow message. There is another extremely damaging side effect. Because we think less of our bodies, we think less of ourselves. Self image is the pivotal factor in how much any of us passionately pursue our life long goals. We must start with a basic sense of "I am good enough." If our daughters look in the mirror and see a person they like and say, "I am good enough" they will reach farther, achieve more and feel more confident in the process. If they don't see a person they believe to be "good enough", then they will sell themselves short. They will never attempt to attain their dream. Our job is to show our daughters that every face is one of success.
What Dove attempts to do by pointing out the variance in beauty doesn't just send a message about the perfect imperfections of the body, it also points to the fact that every face of success looks different. True success doesn't lie in physical perfection. It lies in the perseverance to achieve and attain a personal dream.
I want my daughter to look in the mirror and not focus on the color of her eyes or the texture of her hair. I don't want her to be reduced to self criticism that will limit the vision of herself and keep her from making her best contribution to the world. I want her to see the face of a successful woman.
So, thank you Dove for celebrating women in all their many forms of physical beauty and for all their achievements. And thank you Julia Rosien, for participating in this insightful ad campaign that opens viewers to the idea that success and achievement start with a sense of "I am good enough", not an airbrushed ideal.