After the lambasting that the Dove Real Beauty Sketch commercial has been taking in the online world, I was starting to feel rather foolish for having liked it as much as I did. Maybe I'm just not a deep thinker. Maybe I just have more shallow expectations when it comes to commercials. But after having a debate on FB about some of the points in this specific criticism, I have this to say...
I get you... Dove ad.
And I feel your pain.
I too have tried to post what I hoped were inspirational things with a nice message on this here blog only to be told that I'm making someone feel inadequate.
Pictures of cakes and cupcakes I have decorated were seen as attempts to make the mom with Little Debbie and Sara Lee in her pantry feel like a domestic failure. Posts about a reorganization of my laundry room/spice cabinet/linen closet/bookshelves were seen as ways to humiliate the woman with laundry piled on her bed and books stacked on the floor.
I have been told that my blog (and others like it) is a source for negative comparison, inspiration for inadequacy, a place to go when someone "wanted to feel like a terrible mother" and very specifically, "the nail in the coffin" that ended one women's online perusing.
So, I guess that's why I feel sympathetic to the Dove ad and kind of annoyed that people are trying to see the negative in it no matter what. Do I think Dove is trying to sell something here... sure. That's their job. They haven't been too cagey or clever about hiding that fact. Do I think they are trying to subtly manipulate people into swallowing already stereotyped standards of beauty? Nope. Do I think it's filled with theological and philosophical implications? Heavens no. It's just a commercial.
It is edited, obviously. We don't get a chance to hear what specific questions the artist asked of the subjects. We don't get to see all 10 hours (or however long) of filming. Is this editing evidence of a kind of manipulation? If you consider anything that is edited in any way a form of manipulation then I guess this commercial could be considered manipulative. But then so would every book, every news article, every cropped photo, every song ever recorded, oh yeah... and every blog post.
Rather than pulling the post below and feeling silly about ever having posted it like I want to do right now, I'm going to swallow my pride and just say this... think of it what you will. I think it's an interesting commercial with a nice message. Women tend to be their own worst critics whether that has to do with beauty, intellect, crafting skills or domestic ability. What you see as your biggest flaws, most people probably wouldn't even notice at all.
That is all. :)