Unilever’s Dove is breaking barriers again. This time the company’s message inspires women to rise above stereotypes or limits society places on their beauty or appearance. The centerpiece of the campaign is a film called #MyBeautyMySay, featuring the personal stories of several women who scoffed at criticism of their looks to achieve personal success.
This is the latest in Dove’s Self-Esteem Project which since 2004 has reached the lives of more than 19 million girls, according to the company.
“Somewhere along the way, it has become the norm to judge women based on their appearance. Dove created #MyBeautyMySay because we believe a woman’s beauty should not be used to belittle her achievements — instead, her beauty should be celebrated on her terms,” said Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing, Dove. “We want women to challenge this behavior that has unfortunately become commonplace in our society. We are giving all women a platform to speak out and join us to change the conversation.”
New Dove research revealed women seek to be free of unrealistic beauty limits. In the study, Dove:The Global Beauty Confidence Report, seven in 10 women said they believe they get more compliments on how they look than on their professional achievements at work. And, eight in 10 U.S. women agree the most beautiful women aren’t those born with the most — it’s the ones who make the most of what they have.
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But incessant commentary and judgment focused on how women look is deeply ingrained into daily life. Whether or not it is intentional, it can limit women and place pressure on them to conform to a narrow standard of beauty, said Dove. One in two women with low body confidence admit they don’t feel self-assured enough to be assertive in their own life. The Dove #MyBeautyMySay campaign hopes to tackle this problem head-on and inspire women everywhere to take a stand against unwarranted and unsolicited judgments made about their looks.
The film features nine women including Heather Hardy who was told she was too pretty to box, Jessica Torres who had been advised to wear figure-hiding clothing and Rain Dove who had been mocked by those claiming her looks were too masculine. Each describes how they rose above the criticism to achieve success — Hardy as a professional boxer, Torres as a fashion blogger and Dove as a gender-fluid model.
Dove hopes other women will share their stories using #MyBeautyMySay.