Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Perfection vs. Reality

I had a sleepless night last night--I was lying in bed, wide awake, my brain going non-stop. There is nothing more frustrating than having your spouse and two cats sleeping happily while you're tossing and turning, trying to quiet your mind.

In the midst of my endless night, I decided to flip through a few magazines to settle myself down. Whether it was my exhaustion or something else altogether, I found myself growing increasingly annoyed with cosmetics ads that promise perfection by making you feel bad about yourself.

You've seen the ones: a flawlessly airbrushed woman is smiling back at you without a wrinkle or line showing, not a hair out of place, seemingly pore-less, almost robotic in her absolute perfection, and she's selling you anti-aging cream. The message: if you use this product, you'll be perfect, too. When in reality, you can use gallons of the wrinkle cream they're advertising and you're still going to look, well, like a normal woman, not some botoxed, airbrushed, shell in a magazine ad.

Ugh! It's enough to drive a person crazy.

Now, I don't have the energy to get into a whole diatribe about unrealistic beauty ideals--I think we can all agree that they exist--so instead I'd like to take a moment to give a big shout out to Dove and their Campaign for Real Beauty. For a few years now, Dove has been using "real" woman of all sizes, shapes, colors, and ages to show the world that beauty is diverse. It's refreshing to see ads featuring women who are confident and beautiful despite the fact that they aren't a size 0, don't apologize for having a few wrinkles, and who actually have a few flaws. If only more people could buy into the notion that all women (and men, for that matter!) are beautiful, important, and worthy.

Yay Dove! And kudos to celebrities like Tyra Banks, Felicity Hoffman, Queen Latifah, and Megan Mullaly for getting involved in Dove's new campaign to increase women's self-esteem.

Keep up the good work!


Serendipity said...

I love this campaign!!! its too bad the product itself is only so-so...

Lydia said...

i so totally agree. :(