“The Beauty Myth” Haunts Women More Than Ever

04May09

I have to admit that when Dove first began its “Campaign for Real Beauty” a few years ago, I was pretty skeptical – especially because the campaign came just before Dove launched a new line of beauty products for women. Were they really trying to educate women about the beauty myth, or trying merely to sell products which perpetuate the unrealistic expectations faced by young women?

Originally I suspected it to be a marketing ploy, but in reality it may have been a smart PR move for the company, one which I personally support. As part of their Campaign for Real Beauty, they established the Dove Self-Esteem Fund. According to the Web site:

“The Dove Self-Esteem Fund (DSEF) was established as an agent of change to inspire and educate girls and young women about a wider definition of beauty. The DSEF is committed to help girls build positive self-esteem and a healthy body image, with a goal of reaching 5 million girls globally by 2010. The DSEF has already reached 2 million young women. Our definition of ‘reaching’ a girls is when she has gone through an educational program that lasts at least an hour of her life.”

I think educating young women about healthy body image and positive self-esteem is very important in today’s image-and-celebrity-obsessed society. As anyone who has read Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth knows, women’s beauty expectations have served to negatively impact women in almost all aspects of life. To anyone who hasn’t read it, get your copy now.

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