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Would You #ChooseBeautiful?


So you're heading towards a building and you see two doorways; one has a sign marked "beautiful" and the other has an "average" sign. Which door would you choose to go through?

Dove, of the soap and personal care product fame, set up this experiment in five cities across the world - London, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sao Paolo and Delhi – and filmed women's reactions as they made their decisions about which door to choose as part of their latest advert. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in a society dominated by size zero models and magazines filled with photo shopped celebrities, the majority of the women chose the average door. The advert also shows clips of the women's emotional discussions about their choices.

Of course, we all know that Dove loves to aim their campaigns at championing "real beauty" and empowering women and has spent more than a decade. You'll remember the real beauty ads that have drawn a lot of attention with Dove choosing normal women over those skinny models.

This new advert is the leading light for Dove's 'Choose Beautiful' campaign, and once again their aim is to challenge women's perceptions of beauty. It drew in an amazing half a million views in its first two days! Dove also released some statistics to accompany the launch of the ad, shockingly revealing that 95% of the 6500 women surveyed don't view themselves as beautiful. The Daily Mail and The Independent were both quick to pick up on these shocking figures, giving even more publicity to campaign. And of course, like any successful campaign, there is a Twitter hashtag to go with it.

A quick search of #ChooseBeautiful will result in a huge number of responses showing that people have been both inspired and saddened by the revelations of just how little women think of themselves and the lack of confidence they have in their beauty. But as with most campaigns there are the negative comments too, with some claiming that the #ChooseBeautiful campaign is showing women as objects, revealing them as insecure and is misleading because the women were unaware they were being filmed, as well as claims that the campaign is just too similar to previous Dove campaigns.

According to research* 70% of women agree that if they were called the same label for a long enough period, they would begin to accept this as the truth rather than challenge it. Why do we label ourselves, or allow ourselves to be labelled? Gillette Venus commissioned a Global Labels Research Survey* which was conducted by Wakefield Research partnered with women's empowerment expert and founder of S.H.E. Summit Global Conference, Claudia Chan, to educate women in identifying their labels, so that they can then overcome them.

"Words are powerful and that's why I'm so excited to partner with Gillette Venus to eliminate stereotypes and single-minded labels and help women realize their personal potential," said Chan. "The first step is to help women become aware of how they might have been labelled in different life phases, and how that may have limited them. In my work, women around the world have shared with me how they have been held back in their career or overall confidence, and often the limiting factor was a label they received as a young girl."

There's no doubt that labels have enormous impact on women – and men – and whatever your opinion, I think that Dove has done another fabulous job of reinforcing its message of real beauty being best and if it's thought provoking statistics help make women realise that we're all beautiful in our own way, then it's a success. It certainly makes you think about how you and your female friends and relatives, perceive yourselves and wonder how you would have reacted in that situation. So, would you #ChooseBeautiful?

Well being


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