Abstract: "Drawing from several areas of research, this thesis explores the ways in which Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty appropriates feminist themes to sell beauty products, to the detriment of female consumers. Advertising and marketing have long held the power to create, shape, and reinforce cultural norms, and for years, advertisers have been able to propagate and strengthen gender stereotypes. Though there has been a push since the late 1990s to stem the flow of sexist and potentially dangerous advertising messages about women's bodies, ads still disseminate harmful messages that contribute to the further sexualization and oppression of women in the United States. Dove is just one of the many female–targeted brands that claim to hold progressive, woman–positive ideals, while still selling products intended to make women more beautiful–supposedly the ultimate goal for any modern female. While the campaign professes a desire to increase confidence and self–esteem for women and girls around the globe, it promotes a post–feminist, consumerist agenda that actually reinforces what Naomi Wolf titled 'the beauty myth'. Linguistic and visual analyses of Dove's print and viral marketing tactics within the contexts of advertising, feminism, and consumer culture reveal that instead of 'redefining' beauty, the Dove campaign is, in actuality, reinforcing decades–old ideology about women's appearance and status in society."
(Caitlin McCleary, 2014)
McCleary, Caitlin M., "A Not–So–Beautiful Campaign: A Feminist Analysis of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty" (2014). University of Tennessee Honors Thesis Projects. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_chanhonoproj/1691
"Procter & Gamble Co.'s Always today is launching 'Like a Girl,' a video ... that takes issue with generations of playground taunts about people running, throwing or fighting 'like a girl.' It asks: 'When did doing something 'like a girl' become an insult?'"
(Jack Neff, 26 June 2014, Advertising Age)
"Most little girls grow up playing with Barbie dolls. Some even want to look like them. One 21–year–old has become one, or so she says.
Valeria Lukyanova has become an internet sensation in her home country of Russia, claiming on her blog to be the most famed woman on the Russian–language internet.
Her doll–like features, long blonde hair and 'perfect' body make her look like a real life Barbie."
(Laura Cox, PUBLISHED: 18:14, 22 April 2012 | UPDATED: 01:40, 25 April 2012, Dailymail.co.uk)
"Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation (90 min; TV–14 DL) uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under–representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.
In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman's value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.
Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective."
(Jennifer Siebel Newsom)
"Much advertising in the past has been about creating new needs and taboos that can be met by products, writes Lynne Ciochetto, as I noted in my Eye 59 article 'Advertising and the globalisation of aspiration'. Throughout most of the twentieth century, the focus has been on the female market.
However as markets in the west become saturated, the male market has been redefined in terms of products, and the representation of men has broadened beyond the narrow stereotypes of the past. For decades after the 1960s, the masculine ideal was epitomised by 'Marlboro Man', regarded within advertising as the man every man wanted to be and that every woman wanted to be with."
(Lynne Ciochetto, 2009, Eye Magazine)