This week, Dove learned the hard lesson that just because you slap a “body positivity” angle on a product, it doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be a success. Or even that people won’t laugh at it.
Now more than 10 years into their iconic Real Beauty campaign, Dove is being criticized for their attempt to embed that message into their product packaging by designing bottles of body wash modeled after six “real” body shapes.
According to a statement from Dove, “Each bottle evokes the shapes, sizes, curves and edges that combine to make every woman their very own limited edition. They’re one of a kind — just like you.” As long as your body type fits into one of six categories.
“Women using their influence to advance the real beauty debate across social media, and helping women embrace their own individuality as a source of confidence,” Dove explains in the statement.
OK, maybe I can see their point.
But it continues, “To spread this diversity message even further, we created these exclusive body wash bottles.”
Wait, what? This is the point where we need Peggy Olson to become a real person, travel through time and to London and shut this whole thing down.
If I’m being completely honest, I 100 percent thought this campaign was satire — especially when I saw the full line of six bottles, including one that is so short and stout, it makes a little teapot seem lean and elegant. But I may be particularly sensitive because that is the bottle that best matches my own body type — the only thing it’s missing is a pair of cat-eye glasses.
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