Dove looks at beauty through a new lens with campaign shot by Mario Testino
Since 1957, Dove has cared for women and celebrated their beauty.
Now, 60 years later, we are taking another step forward in our mission to help women realise their personal beauty potential and to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.
Today, we are recommitting to Real Beauty with the Dove Real Beauty Pledge – three vows we promise to uphold for women everywhere:
The Dove Real Beauty Pledge™
We always feature real women, never models
Models reflect a narrow view of beauty. Dove believes that beauty is for everyone and therefore features real women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair colour, type or style.
• Zero models in our campaigns
• Real women introduced by their names
• Our campaigns reflect the population’s diversity.
We portray women as they are in real life
We never present the unachievable, manipulated, flawless images of “perfect” beauty which the use of retouching tools can promote.
• Zero digital distortion of women
• Image approved by the women we feature
We help girls build body confidence and self-esteem
Globally 8 out of 10 girls opt out of key life activities when they don’t feel good about the way they look. Dove has a mission to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping young people raise their self-esteem and realise their full potential.
For over 10 years the Dove Self-Esteem Project has educated over 20 million young people in body confidence and self-esteem and has become the biggest provider of self-esteem education of its kind. We work with world renowned body image experts and leading universities to develop evidence based and academically validated educational tools.
• Educate 20 million more young people around the world on body confidence and self-esteem by 2020
Dove and Mario Testino
To mark the launch of the Dove Real Beauty Pledge, we are looking at real beauty through a new lens; that of renowned photographer and creative director Mario Testino.
Famous for taking beautiful and candid shots of women and bringing out the humanity in his subjects, Mr. Testino and his London based creative agency, MARIOTESTINO+, has photographed 30 portraits showcasing the beauty of women from around the world. All the images have been inspired by, and shot, according to the Dove Real Beauty Pledge, and feature 32 real women and girls, aged 11 – 71, from over 15 countries.
The portraits make up part of the Dove Real Beauty Showcase, celebrating 60 years of Dove, which will be on display in New York City and online for all to see.
Mr Testino commented on the campaign: “The way Dove empowers women to celebrate their own unique beauty has long resonated with me.
I have always taken the same approach with my pictures. A photographer has a choice – they can take a picture and make it about themselves by using avant-garde techniques, sometimes capturing the weakness in women, or they can choose to give their picture over to the woman in front of the lens by making her look herself and feel her most powerful.”
In 2004, Dove launched the Campaign for Real Beauty – a first-ever campaign featuring and celebrating real women. However, the world has changed rapidly and the very definition of beauty has taken on multiple meanings.
Today, we see mothers proudly displaying stretch marks on Instagram, women rejecting the allure of the ‘perfect’ size, and young girls celebrating diversity of skin colour and hair. It’s clear there has never been a more important time for us to re-examine what beauty means and to champion a new broader definition, inspired by the voices of today’s women.
In fact, Dove research found that although 9 in 10 women and girls in South Africa are proud to be female and embrace it, 65% of women and 72% of girls wish the media did a better job of portraying women of diverse physical appearance in terms of race, age, shape and size.
54% of South African women and 58% of girls believe the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty most women can’t ever change.
73% of women believe that social media creates more pressure for people to look a certain way.
“In 2017, the beauty landscape is wildly different to what it was in 2004 when we launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty; however, our commitment to redefining beauty hasn’t changed,” says Dove Global Vice President, Sophie Galvani. “The women and girls photographed according to the Dove Real Beauty Pledge celebrate true global diversity; each has her own unique beauty story and is a true inspiration for women everywhere.
We’ve long admired the work that Mario Testino does and his ability to capture the real beauty in women. We are thrilled to work with him as his status and influence in pop culture makes him a valuable champion in helping to make real and diverse beauty more mainstream.”
The women featured in the Dove Real Beauty Showcase are all real women who will be introduced to the world by name. Each of them had a say in how they looked in their photographs, and some of the young women featured have also benefitted from self-esteem education delivered through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, a programme created to help girls develop a positive relationship with the way they look and to reach their full potential in life.
The women include Vicki, a retired medal-winning Paralympian from the UK who had to change her definition of beauty after losing her leg to cancer; Paola, a football lover who started her own club for girls in her hometown of Mexico City after she noticed many young girls drop out of sports as they entered their teenage years; and Luyanda, a chartered accountant from South Africa who always struggled with her appearance, despite her successful career.
For years, Luyanda was surrounded by friends with lighter skin and straighter hair, which made her feel pressured to emulate a beauty ideal that wasn’t right for her.
One day, she came to the realisation that she would never fit a standard beauty mould and decided to grow dreadlocks. In doing so, she came to appreciate her own beautiful features and promised she’d always stay true to herself.
“I have stopped trying so hard to fit in – my beautiful personality is written all over my face and that’s the only beauty I need,” says Luyanda.
60 years of #RealBeauty - The Facts
In our first year, less than 10 real women were featured in advertisements. In 2016 there were more than 1,000.
We have featured real women and girls from the first year of their life to their ninth decade.
Stacy Nadeu, who appeared in our first 2004 Real Beauty campaign is now an inspirational speaker on women’s empowerment.
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