Update: Apparently Dove realizes that this ad is not particularly friendly to the “unreal” among us and did not sanction the ad. But someone out there wrote and it it needs to be addressed nonetheless.
I was trolling the interwebs for blog fodder when I happened up a casting call ad from the fine folks at Dove. Now, I have nothing against Dove. I’m pretty sure I’ve used their products in the past and never broken out into a rash or lost a limb or anything so they must be fine. And I thought it was kind of cool that they were putting regular women in their ads. But after reading this casting call, I find that they have a different idea of what “real” is than I do:
Real women, huh? Flawless skin, huh? No tattoos or scars, huh? I guess it’s safe to say that stretch marks are right out, too, huh? Because stretch marks are “flaws”, not a natural side effect of pregnancy. Real women don’t have stretch marks, I guess.
Real women also probably don’t have the freckles that pop up after a long summer of taking kids to playgrounds and pools. They don’t have the accidental tan lines picked up on the sidelines of a soccer field or baseball diamond. Real women avoid the bruises and scrapes that come from playing with children, the little nicks and scars that come with taking care of a home and a family. Real women with really flawless skin probably don’t have giant circles under their eyes from losing sleep to nursing a baby or caring for a sick child or pacing the floor waiting for a teen-ager to come home past curfew.
In short, Dove thinks real women are unmarked by life. That can’t be said of mothers.
Yeah, well, I’ve got news for you Dove, I reject the notion that we are not real women, even with our “flawed” skin.
Maybe spider veins and stretch marks and thickened ankles and that slight slackening of skin that begins at the neck and the back of the hands isn’t the most perfect thing the Madison Avenue types running Dove’s campaign have ever seen. But they don’t make us less than real. Quite the opposite. Real women live their lives and take their lumps, their stretch marks, their surgical scars, spider veins and wave their flags high. Real women say “I am mother, partner, daughter, sister! And I am proud of me! RAWR!”
Real women are not flawless. But real women are beautiful.