Beautiful Advertising


    Oddly situated among the Super Bowl’s usual commercials celebrating masculinity, materialism, sex and beer, Dove Soap aired an advertisement last Sunday that brought desperately needed attention to a silent, yet destructive, issue facing society: a lack of appreciation for the real beauty of women and girls.

    Dove’s commercial, with a simple soundtrack of a girl singing, passes pictures of young women and girls onto the screen as common fears about self-image are written out next to them. None of the girls would necessarily qualify for a contract with a modeling agency, but each reminds viewers of real women and girls whose true beauty goes unnoticed against popular misconceptions of what makes a woman beautiful.

    The media and advertising that permeate modern life bring with them an insidious and unrealistic expectation of feminine beauty. Women are bombarded constantly with images of a beauty that exists only under well-placed lights, after hours of makeup and hair styling, and on the post-operative lists of plastic surgeons. These images are destructive – more destructive and dangerous than one might think, because society accepts them as true beauty and then turns them into unrealistic expectations. These expectations are forced upon women of all ages with threats of loneliness and rejection if they do not meet the standard.

    Under pressure from friends, peers, society and even family, far too many women and girls crack and begin to think they are ugly when the opposite is true. All of society bares responsibility for this tragedy, and all of society can do something to remedy it.

    It is time that women respected themselves for who they really are. It is time for advertising agencies, fashion magazines and Hollywood to ask themselves if enough

    cases of low self-esteem and eating disorders have been caused in pursuit of profit. It is time that men stood up and did more to make women realize that they are beautiful, to let them know that men would not have them any other way than the way they are created. Society must draw a line: either it continues to torture women and girls with false notions of what makes them beautiful, or it learns to celebrate what is truly beautiful.

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