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Real women

warning

bodyshaming

Is everyone else as sick as me of the tag line “real women” or “real beauty” or “beauty in strength”?

Real Beauty:
Dove’s figures have soared since introducing this campaign. Their marketing department needs a huge raise. Want to see what one of their casting calls said?

__________________________________________
DOVE “REAL WOMEN” PRINT CASTING JUNE 28-30, 2010 in NYC
ABSOLUTELY NO ACTRESSES / MODELS OR REALITY SHOW PARTICIPANTS or ANY ONE CARRYING A HEADSHOT!!!!
REAL WOMEN ONLY!
LOOKING FOR 3-4 REAL WOMEN for a DOVE PRINT CAMPAIGN!
AGES 35-45, CAUCASIAN, HISPANIC, AFRICAN AMERICAN, & ASIAN!

SHOOT: SUNDAY, JULY 18 in NYC! MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE SHOOT!
RATE: $500 for Shoot date & if selected for Ad Campaign (running 2011) you will be paid $4000!
USAGE: 3 years unlimited print & web usage in N. America Only

YOU WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED FOR THE CAMPAIGN IN A TOWEL!
BEAUTIFUL ARMS AND LEGS AND FACE WILL BE SHOWN!
MUST HAVE FLAWLESS SKIN, NO TATTOOS OR SCARS!
Well groomed and clean…Nice Bodies..NATURALLY, FIT Not too Curvy Not too Athletic.

Great Sparkling Personalities. Beautiful Smiles! A DOVE GIRL!!!
STYLISH AND COOL!
Beautiful HAIR & SKIN is a MUST!!!

PLEASE SUBMIT SNAPSHOTS of FACE & BODY ASAP & WE WILL CALL YOU IN FOR A CASTING NEXT WEEK 6/28-6/30 in NYC!
____________________________________________________________________________

Ok. So you can’t be too athletic. You can’t have tattoos. You can’t have birthmarks or scars. Forget too much muscle. What that is essentially telling us is that unless you fit into their VERY narrow definition of beauty you are not considered beautiful.

My biggest issue is this:

Dove also has a campaign running about young girls in sports. The touching commercial says that young girls are dropping out of sports at alarming rates because they feel bad about how they look:

BUT WAIT!!!!! A girl growing up to be an Olympic gymnast is buff as hell. A girl growing up to be a weight lifter (Olympic weightlifting) has strong built quads. Neither of these young girls would grow up to fit into Dove’s idea of beauty… You know… The one that targets women that are a bit heavier and aren’t too athletic. Is it just me that sees the problem with this? As kids you should pursue any athletic endeavours that make you happy, regardless of the muscular effect it has on your body… But as a grown women you can’t be too athletic. You need to be a bit soft. Am I the only one seeing the conflict in their ads?

Not to mention that Dove is owned by Unilever, who owns Axe as well. I have no problem with Axe ads but I can guarantee you that you will not see a woman that looks like the “real women” in their ads.

Point:

The women featured in Axe ads are smokin’ hot. They are absolutely stunning and normally half dressed. Some could say they are being objectified.

See the problem?? Companies play to the audience. It has nothing to do about making you feel better and everything to do with pulling your heart strings and making you identify with the ad so you will spend money. I have nothing against helping women gain confidence no matter their body type but at the end of the day it is about money, not helping women, for a company like Dove (I will take this back the day funds raised from their “real women” campaign go directly to womens shelters or breast cancer research.)… But it’s not. They are clever at Dove. You must give them credit for that.

Ok. Enough on that.

Beauty in Strength/ Real Beauty

I saw this picture posted by a popular Crossfit athlete:

beauty in strength

Now, I have nothing against the picture. I just don’t like the idea that beauty and confidence should be connected to anything. There are women that could care a less about being strong, and that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. I’m sure Miranda Kerr, my favourite model, could care a less about a clean and jerk PR or how much she can squat, but I challenge anyone to say that this woman is not stunningly beautiful.

VS

How about this picture?
VS model

Oh shit, I forgot. Real women have curves… Or there’s beauty in strength… Or some other catch phrase that makes stunning super models left out. Some girls are BORN TINY!!! Yes, imagine. They don’t starve themselves, they just have a body type that is petite (Now, I am not saying no one starves themselves but that isn’t exclusive to models.).

I’m sure the beauty in strength ads don’t mean to draw lines, but for young girls looking at them, they do. Those young minds are fragile.

Body Shaming

body shaming

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, “real women have curves”, “women with muscle look like men”, “Women that are overweight are lazy”…. When does it end? Facebook has become a ground for shaming every female body, no matter their size. No one is safe.

Pictures of fit physique competitors or Crossfit athletes get posts such as “looks like a man”, “eat a burger”, “too much muscle”, “who’s the dude?”, “real women have curves”, etc etc etc.

Annie Thorisdottir:
AnnieT1

Stacie Tovar:
Stacietovar

Elisabeth Akinwale:
EA

Erin Stern:
Erinstern

Nathalia Melo:
NathaliaMelo

It seems as no one, in the media or online, can be happy for successful thin or athletic women. They are successful at Crossfit? Well, it’s clearly the steroids. They are a successful VS model? They clearly starve themselves. Beautiful? Well, you are clearly dumb… And your boobs are obviously fake too. (***I have nothing against plastic surgery… I’ve just noticed it as a jab against women more and more in pictures).

More body shaming in the news recently:

Spartan Race monokini girl (This was NOT a staged shot, she actually ran the race in that):
Spartan

After this picture was posted (then quickly removed) by Spartan Races the comments on Facebook pages dedicated to EMPOWERING women ranged from:
– “That is not a REAL Spartan chick” (followed quickly by women posting mostly unflattering pictures of themselves in the race)
– “What a dumb blonde”
– “The photo is not bad ass”
– “She looks too good, it’s staged and fake”
– “She doesn’t represent Spartan Races”
– “Anyone can run with their fake boobs hanging out” … Which I beg to differ. I would NOT run with my boobs hanging out. It takes balls.
– “Her boobs are fake” … Umm… And this relates to anything how?

I personally think: 1) Good on her for having the balls to run in that. 2) I wish I could look that good climbing walls in a race!

Julie Foucher? Games athlete, beautiful and in med school? Well we write her off as a freak of nature… There must be something wrong beneath the surface.
Juliefoucher

Nicole Nagrani, IFBB Pro and med school student? Well, since women aren’t beautiful with muscle and can’t be beautiful and smart we need to find a new category for her….

NG

BUT the sad thing is women can’t seem to just let it rest on the flip side either. If someone is over weight they are called fat and lazy. They are blamed for allowing themselves to get to that point. No one says “real women have curves” under their picture… No. They are shamed and told to lose weight. A great blog on body shaming and over weight women being shamed “for their own good”:
http://www.fatgirlphd.com/body-shaming-and-the-secret-to-effective-weight-loss/

I mean, I don’t think we need to look far on the internet for examples of shaming women who are over weight:

This….
fat

Or this….
fat2

Hell, pregnant women aren’t even safe:
fat3

So, my question is….
Glamour-2

Also, how do women win? Can we? We can’t be too fit. We can’t have imperfect skin. We can’t be over weight. We can’t have muscle. We can’t be too thin. We can’t have tattoos…. The list goes on and on. Literally every body type is trashed online.

What’s my point?

nger

You know how we win? By not depending on soap companies to tell us that we are beautiful. By NOT shaming other women for their physique. By not putting down a persons IQ based on their cup size or waist size. By not calling someone fat and lazy because they are over weight.

The key is to be happy in your own skin… And if you aren’t get to the root of why you are not. Counselling is always an option, or pick up an Ebook by Scott Abel. Get to the root of your issues. At the end of the day no amount of shaming other women will make you feel better about yourself. If anything by shaming others it is so painfully obvious that you are not secure in your own skin.

Results aren’t luck. Women work their asses off for results. They work hard to become an IFBB pro, Olympic gymnast, Crossfit games athlete, track athlete, etc. If you want those results WORK FOR THEM. Do not bring others down. And if you have those results don’t bring down others for being too lazy to reach your level of success.

And no tag line or marketing campaign will ever be able to define what is beautiful, because as long as you are happy you are beautiful. And if you are alive and breathing you are a real woman, no matter what different campaigns tell you. It’s time we finally say enough is enough. Enough tag lines that draw imaginary lines in the sand between us and them… Thin and fat, fit and unfit, beautiful and ugly. Allow each person to be who THEY want to be, and as women support each other in our pursuits. We need to create a world that is accepting of others… If not for us then for the next generation growing up in a shitty place to be female.

2 comments on “Real women

  1. fatgirlphd
    June 4, 2013

    Hey! I’ve just read this after the link to my post pinged back – loved it! As did my Twitter followers – that Dove casting is shocking. You’re amazing, thanks for posting x

    • Ashley
      June 15, 2013

      Aw, I am so flattered that you read the blog! Thank you! 🙂

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