Rachel sent in a commercial for Dove chocolate that, as she says, sends “mixed messages…about unrealistic beauty standards for women.” Here’s the video:
We’re only human, but we try to be perfect.
We pretend that high heels are comfortable, and that waxing just takes getting used to.
We pretend we can manage anything that’s thrown at us, and sometimes we can.
And other times, we just have to cut ourselves some slack, and take a moment.
Because although we’re only human, that’s more than enough.
Your moment, your Dove.
The commercial seems to want to have it both ways. On the one hand, trappings of conventional femininity (heels, waxing, as well as being a superwoman who can handle “anything that’s thrown at us”) are accepted as “perfection,” elements of an ideal version of us we aspire to. On the other hand, it’s drawing on the idea that we should just accept ourselves — we’re “more than enough” — but in a way that implies that we have to do this not because there’s something wrong with an ideal of perfection that requires women to put ourselves through painful rituals, but just because sometimes we can’t manage to meet that ideal and have to give ourselves a break and eat some chocolate (of course!) to console ourselves before we get up the energy to throw ourselves back into the search for perfection again. As we often see in advertising, it uses a women’s empowerment message (you’re great the way you are! You can do anything!) in a superficial way that simply suggests consumption as a solution rather than truly challenging the beauty ideals it appears to be critiquing.
Luda — August 31, 2010
I'm recommending you as part of BlogDay 2010: http://luda76.blogspot.com/2010/08/blogday.html
DoctorJay — August 31, 2010
Always amused at the ads for chocolate that promote it as a reward for living life. I deserve it!
Phoebe — August 31, 2010
"only" indicates settling for something, yet "more than" means the opposite. And I will never understand why chocolate is marketed at women so much. Do women really enjoy it more? Because chocolate is amazing for anyone. Or is it not masculine enough?
Anonymous — August 31, 2010
It's just an advertisement for chocolate. No big deal.
D.Grey — August 31, 2010
The irony I see here is that eating too much Dove chocolate will ensure you can't meet the unrealistic ideal of thinness...and if you buy into the ideal concepts of femininity in Western culture, you will then feel self-hating, depressed, a...nd miserable, and wind up eating more chocolate to feel better...perpetuating your reality as a mentally incapacitated, self-loathing blob who can't find their way out of this conundrum...and who buys lots and lots of Dove chocolate. =p
Not that I dislike chocolate, just reveling in the huge amounts of irony inherent in the ad.
Samantha C — September 1, 2010
I hated this commercial since I first saw it. God forbid we can send the message to women that beauty standards are arbitrary and unreachable, so don't hurt yourself and have some chocolate cause it tastes good, which I was so sure was where this was going. But "it sucks being so beautiful, so allow yourself a sliver of chocolate when you inevitably fail" is terrible
angelica — September 1, 2010
I think the massive failings of the Dove ads - this and the "real beauty" yadda yadda - highlight just one of the ways in which emancipatory politics and capitalism are necessarily antagonistic, and a meaningful feminism (as with meaningful race, class, disability, sexuality, trans etc. politics) is not possible without incorporating anti-capitalism. As long as profit remains a fundamental imperative, oppressive discourses and actions will always be privileged over non-oppressive ones whenever the latter would jeopardise that profit. It's not like Dove are just a bit stupid and unaware of the ways in which their advertising falls short of a feminist ideal - it's just that they exist to make money, and if relying on bullshit ideas about feminine perfection, the genderedness of chocolate etc. will shift more units, any moral considerations will *always* be thrown overboard.
Jef Harris — September 1, 2010
This is just begging for a parody.
Anonymous — September 2, 2010
Another thing that gets me about this ad is the fact that the actresses in it clearly meet the dominant beauty standards pretty exactly.
roundbrackets — June 4, 2011
kagero — June 4, 2011
kagero — June 4, 2011