As if the fashion industry and advertising world wasn’t doing enough to make people (read: women) conscious about their body image, Dove’s ongoing Real Beauty campaign went a step ahead to endorse diverse bodies of women using their product. In Dove’s attempt to invoke positive body image, the advertising agency Ogilvy London created six “Real Beauty Bottles” for their consumers in United Kingdom.
The statement on their UK website reads, “From curvaceous to slender, tall to petite and whatever your skin color, shoe size or hair type, beauty comes in a million different shapes and sizes. Our six exclusive bottle designs represent the diversity, just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too.”
When the Dove executive approved the idea for the real bottles, they probably did not see the mocking bus hurling towards it on social media. Choosing six bottles was seen as a red flag for invoking six prototypes for a woman’s figure. The backlash on Twitter ranged from sheer amusement to angry women expressing confusion regarding the “real meaning” of their campaign.
This is not a first for an FMCG product to come under the line of fire for using feminist messages in their advertising.
None of the Dove body shaped Shampoo bottles accurately captures my body. How do I feel beautiful now? pic.twitter.com/aHUvSthM5M
— ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@karishmau) May 9, 2017
— Jodi Beggs (@jodiecongirl) May 8, 2017
DOVE: [releases bottles to match people’s bodies]
ME: [gets trapped inside a bottle] pic.twitter.com/eNLijzAZbe
These new Dove bottles look like the Hercules muses. pic.twitter.com/J1LnpjFQ8r
— Luke Swanson (@lukeswan3) May 8, 2017
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) May 8, 2017
— That Harvard Girl (@amberawade) May 9, 2017
What women want: equal pay & opportunity, not-laughable health coverage, to walk to our car w out getting murdered
What women get: pic.twitter.com/gaSMPsNWF6
— Frenchi (@lilchilita) May 8, 2017
a spokesperson from dove just crawled out of my shower drain to tell me all bodies are beautiful and women can play sports too
— helena cell (@pilotbacon) May 8, 2017
hey y’all, Dove here to debut new line inspired by common mental illnesses like depression, ADHD, and anxiety! weird it’s all dry shampoo
— cat comrade (@rachelmillman) May 8, 2017
— chekov’s mankrik (@vrunt) May 8, 2017
“I know, let’s make bottles shaped like women’s bodies!” -Dove marketing exec who has never actually seen a human body
— Jenny Trout (@Jenny_Trout) May 8, 2017
Ok but Dove’s diversity bottles are all still white pic.twitter.com/CrEX4tNnsH
— Abbie Evans (@AbbieEvansXO) May 8, 2017
This will be very empowering, especially when the cashier asks “so you think you’re THAT bottle, huh?” https://t.co/BL0uxrYaqi
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) May 8, 2017
In 2016 Dove interviewed 10,500 females across 13 countries for The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report which stated that women’s body esteem was on a steady decline. According to the study 8 out of 10 participants said they felt pressurized to compete with the notions of a perfect body image.
You can watch the making of these customized bottles in the following commercial: