What Makes You Beautiful?

Dove has done it again. By “it”, I mean come up with another annoying campaign supposedly aimed at empowering women but really is a stealth way of shaming them. In this new commercial, two doorways have different signs over them – one says Beautiful and one Average, and a hidden camera shows us which door women choose. Of course the clincher here is that you’re wrong if you choose the Average door, because all women are beautiful! Take a look at the woman at 0:54. She chose Average and she spends quite some time feeling sorry for herself, while her friend (who chose Beautiful) self-righteously lords it over her.

Let’s be honest here. We all know what the textbook definition of “beautiful” is. And most of us are fine with the fact that Cover Girl won’t come calling any time soon. But is a beautiful face all that we should aspire for? Even without a modeling career, most of us feel pretty good about ourselves. We can consider ourselves awesome, kickass, wonderful, compassionate and nurturing. Where are the doors for that? And also, what is wrong with Average anyway? We’re all special right? Which means we’re all normal and ordinary.

Even that woman at the 1:44 mark just gave it up and left. She ain’t got no time for this shit. You go, you! But what if she had to buy something important or had an appointment? I’m pretty sure she wasn’t giving herself a pep talk at that moment. She just needed to get in the building, dammit. And what if the building had a Starbucks? (If that were me, I’d be looking for a “Pissed” door.) Can’t we just get our coffee without any moralizing?  It’s hard enough to get to a place of self-acceptance without being lectured on how you should accept yourself.

This commercial is pretending to remind us that those things are what make women beautiful, so we all should choose the Beautiful door. And this is the most irritating thing of all. Dove is hiding behind this goody goody image of empowerment instead of just being honest with their consumers. I don’t know about you, but our local Dove commercials always seem to feature the most annoying women. They’re supposed to be “real”, but they just make me question if all women are as obnoxious as them. Am I that obnoxious? You know what would have been really great? If they had just used one door with one sign that said Beautiful. See the reaction of women walking through that door – that is how you remind them they’re beautiful.