Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More on the Dove Ads Controversy

Whoda thunk it'd be a controversy to show a couple of size 10-16 women in their underwear?

Apparently, most men don't like them.

Well, luckily, men aren't buying Dove products:

Here's what some people (most of them men) think of the Dove ads: "THEY'RE DISGUSTING," reads a post on a popular online bulletin board. The author's opinion expressed entirely in uppercase, is that the Dove women are FAT COWS. The sentiment seems to be shared by the unknown parties who've scrawled graffiti on the women's pictures in New York and slapped stickers with crude slogans over the ads in the United Kingdom.

But a number of the derogatory comments haven't been anonymous at all -- they're coming from the popular media, and not just from the "morning zoo" radio shows or lad mags from which we tend to expect (and laugh off) this kind of frat-boy shtick. No, this stuff is coming from places as mainstream as the Sun-Times and Channel 2 News.

Wake up, boys. I have no interest in whether or not you think I'm beautiful.

I can kick your ass.

I want a giant picture of me with a boot up some fat media guy's ass plastered all around New York.

That'd be some controversy for you.

UPDATE: Well, twisty's got some goods:

This Dove-is-so-great crap must cease! Dove is not so great! Dove’s “real” women are, like, 22, and they’re conventionally pretty, and they’re in their fucking underwear. They are given insipid slogans, like “I felt absolutely beautiful on my wedding day!” Mouse over’em and they morph into bent-kneed playboy sexbots. They’re selling beauty crack. On the website there’s even a section where you can vote on the hotness of more “real” models, à la amihot.com. The message: Dove products will give you the only thing that patriarchy actually values in a woman: a tight ass.

7 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

"Most" men? Bit of a reach there, I'd say. There's also a framing issue- you can say the defacement of these ads and the nasty columns represent a sense of entitlement and assertion of power; or, you could say that the cultural forces which operate on women also pressure men into a distortion of how they present their actual desires- showing off for the lads, etc.

Depends on whether you think "most men" are like that guy from the Sun-Times. 

Posted by Brendan

Anonymous said...

Sort of on topic, is anyone else wondering why if Dove is promoting a "love yourself as you are" kind of beauty, they're now selling cellulite creams -- sorry, "Intensive Firming Cream/Lotion" ?

As an aside, I love most of the Dove products, but not because of any trendy marketing campaign. 

Posted by kelly

Anonymous said...

Geez, when will these people get it through their think skulls that beauty is not exclusive to women overly thin women with long legs and flat bellies. Oy! 

Posted by Bent Fabric

Anonymous said...

Plenty of men like plentiful women. 

Posted by NancyP

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need more good men to speak up louder. I really don't like the Dove campaign, but I'm glad to say it hasn't had such a trolltastic reception in the UK. As far as I can tell, we're all being rather polite and PC and I haven't seen any posters defaced here yet.  

Posted by Winter Woods

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Anonymous said...

As a man, I think the Dove ads are fine. I don't understand why some call the women "fat" or "big" or whatever. No, they're not proportioned the way they would seem in a normal ad, but who cares? I'm not sure where the negativity comes in, except that our culture has so brainwashed people that they somehow must feel threatened or cheated by the Dove ads. While I must admit being attracted to "traditional" ad and celebrity photography, I find that I have to turn away from much of it. They're selling sex, not beauty. Lust, not loveliness.

While I've never been attracted to plus sized women (please don't throw stones), I am so glad to see Queen Latifah, a beautiful Black Woman, gaining prominence. I think she's just as beautiful as Beyonce and I just can't turn my gaze away.

Something tells me that even the Dove campaign is getting a lot of heat along with its praise, that there will be a shift in how this culture defines beauty. It may take a generation, but I believe that it will happen. It may only be considered an "alternative" like-style, but it's at least a start.


Posted by Phil