I lost my cool slightly on Facebook, and I should know better. I posted a comment on my own, private Facebook page, about how I felt this video, which is doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, was pointless, and a marketing ploy for a huge company.
I got told off, and lectured on how I needed to see the “glass half full situation” and that it was an amazing video, and I needed to see the point of it.
So, instead of ranting on Facebook, I thought I would blog about it, and explain why I don’t like the Dove video.
I am a recovered Bulimic and Anorexic. I spent 6 years of my life struggling with diagnosed eating disorders, which nearly killed me, and have had issues with self-image, and my appearance for as long as I can remember. I will admit to struggling to like my post two babies body, and I do occasionally wince when I look in the mirror and see the lines forming round my eyes, and I have pulled out a few grey hairs recently, but at 37, I am slowly learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I am trying to teach my own children, particularly my daughter, to feel better about her self-image, and not teach her the habits that brought me to a place where I was starving myself or binging and purging because I loathed what I saw in the mirror and felt hideously ugly, no matter what anyone told me. I am trying to protect her from marketing, from the media, and from what some views the world has on what is acceptable in terms of shape, size, skin tone, clothing style, I could go on….
I want her to love herself, feel happy with her body, and who she is and how she looks, and to never experience what I went through, and what I have seen others go through. I also want to instil in my son, respect for all women, that beauty is more than what a woman wears, or how much make up she has on, and that sexy clothes don’t = beauty, and I hope he learns from his father, who is an excellent example to him, on how to respect a woman, and love her for her true self, and not because she looks a certain way.
The thing is, I LIKE the idea of what is being said in that video. I think we are all far too critical of our own appearances and images, and we spend so much time and money-making ourselves into what we feel we SHOULD look like according to what has been imposed on us, in terms of beauty standards. I think the media and social networks contribute to this, and the cosmetics and beauty industry is one of the worst ringleaders in terms of influence. I do think we need to be kinder to ourselves, and see our true beauty, but this video, made by Dove, which is a brand from Unilever, is not the way to go about it. Sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, and where ever else you hang out on social media, is not going to change anything, or make a difference. Dove and Unilever may claim to be trying to encourage “real” beauty but in reality, they want us to see the video, remember their brand, and then the next time we go shopping to buy that brand, because we associate it with a video that has “made us feel better about ourselves”. Pure product marketing at it’s finest.
I can’t celebrate, or share a video from a company that makes and sells countless ranges of beauty products aimed at making ourselves more beautiful, slimmer, firmer, less wrinkly. Uniliver and Dove have a VAST list of beauty products they pimp and market out in the name of “beauty”. Their website is full of mission statements about making young girls feel confident about their bodies, and changing the way women view themselves, which is lovely, and all very well-meaning, but of course, the aim is to market Dove products to achieve this. It’s all a marketing ploy, and I don’t believe for one minute, that they are any more interested in helping women with self-image than any of the other cosmetics/beauty companies out there.
You only have to Google their parent company, to see that they have come under the spotlight for some serious issues, as well.
I can’t get behind this video, despite the fact that I like the message it is trying to promote. I won’t share it, or gush over it, and if you try to share it on my Facebook page I will delete it. It likely will go the same way as the Kony videos from last year, people will share it, and it will go viral, but then it will disappear into the vast space that is the internet, as the next video or image comes along to take its place.
So there you go, folks. That’s how I feel. If you feel differently, please feel free to share, I would love to hear thoughts. I don’t have a problem if you love the video, or love Dove products, but in my own personal space, I can’t celebrate this video or share it.