Time to do something I haven’t done in a while: Clear out a few items that have long sit idle as bookmarks in my browser. Both are related to an advertising campaign that’s made an impact in both the ad world and popular culture over the past decade-plus: Dove beauty products’ Campaign for Real Beauty. Perhaps you’ve seen some of the campaign’s advertising in the past, all aimed at countering the prevailing image of women and young girls concocted by the beauty and fashion industries — i.e. images of waif-thin models of a certain age and/or ethnicity, all sporting all-too-perfect hair, makeup, and skin tone — and instead celebrate various types of female appearances and encourage and inspire women to be confident in and comfortable with themselves.
As I recall it, the first I time I heard of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was a 75-second online ad produced in Canada and first released in October 2006. Titled “Evolution,” the ad featured a pretty yet ordinary girl going through a time-lapse transformation into a beautiful model — with some obvious embellishments.