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“Beautiful is a great word. So why not see what’s on the other side of that?”
For more than 10 years, Dove has been challenging the narrow definition of beauty around the world with its much-discussed Campaign for Real Beauty, and on Tuesday, the personal care brand announced a new chapter in its evolving effort to empower women.
Choose Beautiful, Dove’s latest campaign and accompanying film, celebrates beauty as a personal, universal choice that all women have the power to select.
Unfortunately, most don’t.
According to a large global study conducted by Dove, only 4 percent of women would choose to describe themselves as “beautiful.” However, 80 percent agree that every woman has something beautiful about her, and 7 out of 10 believe that beauty can encompass more than just physical appearance.
The problem is that most women are choosing to see themselves as “average,” not “beautiful” — a troubling reality that Dove deftly exposes in its new Choose Beautiful film.
Not a stranger to social experiments, Dove has caused waves in past years with its pieces.
Dove Real Beauty Sketches used a sketch artist to show “how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see,” the company said at the time. Dove Evolution revealed how makeup and Photoshop drastically alter a model’s appearance before her image is presented to the world. Dove Patches utilized the placebo effect to prove women don’t need products to feel confident in their beauty.
These videos, along with numerous other Real Beauty videos, have been viewed around the globe by hundreds of millions of people.
The film Dove unveiled on Tuesday offers a poignant, new glimpse at the relationships women have with their own bodies. Using cities in five different countries as the backdrop, Dove placed signs reading “Average” and “Beautiful” over the entrances to public places and asked women why they chose one door over the other.
“I walked into that door that said ‘average,’ and I didn’t feel really good after that,” one participant remarked. “Because obviously, I had rated myself ‘average’… and nobody else.”
“Every day I go through the average door,” another woman explained. “But yesterday was a unique day. So I chose to go through the beautiful one.”
According to Dove, the brand’s key goal is to “create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety,” and this new video aims to remind women that feeling beautiful is their own choice.
In addition to the campaign launch, Dove also announced it will further the brand’s commitment to women as a presenting sponsor at this month’s Women in the World Summit. The company will host a panel “debunking myths about women and decision-making, and emphasizing the link between perceptions of beauty, confidence and performance.”
Tina Brown, founder and CEO of the Women in the World Summit, was on-hand during Tuesday morning’s press conference to discuss the importance of “choice” and to welcome Dove as a WITW sponsor.
“I think we’re culturally inundated with images of unattainable physical beauty,” Brown said. “If you are bombarded all the time by images of impossibly slim, impossibly tall, impossibly beautiful, gangly, you know, anorexic women, after a time, you just don’t match up. And it’s about now telling women that they can have a different image of beauty. It’s so much about being inspired by what is inside you.”
The sixth annual Women in the World Summit takes place April 22 – 24 in New York City and will bring together women leaders, activists and celebrities from across the globe to share their struggles, triumphs, stories, and plans of action.
The aim of the conference is to “offer solutions to building a better life for women and girls” around the world, making Dove a natural partner to inspire, celebrate and challenge women “to choose beautiful every day.”