Dove ad highlights women’s beauty on their own terms

It’s a struggle to which I’m sure many women can relate: being judged on looks, rather than personality or experience. That’s why Dove has launched the #MyBeautyMySay campaign that serves as an evolution of its previous “Real Beauty” effort.

The Unilever brand worked with marketing agencies Ogilvy & Mather, Havas, Edelman and PHD on the campaign which launches with the 90-second “Beauty on Your Own Terms.” It’s based around the insight from a new Dove global study finding that “7 in 10 women believe they get more compliments about how they look than on their professional achievements.” The ad also addresses criticism of Dove’s “Choose Beautiful” effort last year, alleging the spot implicitly upheld the importance of physical beauty while supposedly addressing beauty stereotypes.

Beauty on your own terms

This time around, however, there’s no room for such ambiguity. The ad profiles 9 genuine women focusing on their experiences with being judged based on how they appear.

“They said I was too pretty to fight. You’re going to mess up that beautiful face,” says professional boxer Heather Hardy.

A group of other women add their own moments of others trying to define them by their physical appearance. There’s a fashion blogger who was told she’s “too fat,” a partner at a law firm who was discriminated against because of her appearance, a model who was told she’s “too masculine,” and an older psychologist who was told to “dress her age.” After telling their stories, each woman stands up for their own definition of beauty, and the spot concludes with the “#MyBeautyMySay” hashtag.

“Somewhere along the way, it has become the norm to judge women based on their appearance,” explained Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Dove. “Instead, her beauty should be celebrated on her terms.”

Dove wanted women to challenge this behaviour that has, unfortunately, become commonplace in society. They’re encouraging women to speak out and change the conversation. The campaign also includes online spots focusing more closely on the stories of women from the ad, which you can learn more about here.