Dove Does it Again: Dove Evolution Commerical

Question: Beauty- Inspirational or Aspirational?

Dove has created yet another controversial commercial/ad campaign challenging our concept of beauty. Titled “Dove Evolution”, the commercial, which appeared last week on ABC’s Good Morning America, makes a very powerful statement about the reality (or lack of reality) of beauty. 

While I applaud Dove for challenging us to think about our concepts of beauty and for creating a BRILLIANT viral ad campaign, I do find the ads to be a bit simplistic. Do we, as women, want ads to feature models who look like better versions of ourselves (inspirational) or feature models (whether real or enhanced) that represent societies notion of ideal beauty (aspirational)?

Yes, the fashion and beauty industry (including DOVE) use several tools to create artificial images of beauty, but, at the same time, people like to look at beautiful things, even if those beautiful things aren’t real

So, Beauty: Inspirational or Aspirational?

Sponsored Content


  1. says

    how about a bit of both?  i love the commercials.  i love to glam up and all that but i also don’t think that there is anything wrong with simply being and showing women as they are. 

    i buy/read all the beauty mags, blogs and the like and love it all but i also know that there is a huge issue among women related to self esteem and i appreciate Dove’s attempt to bring it home that it’s a fantasy those beautiful ads that you see…

    we had a huge discussion about this on one of my boards and it was amazing how surprised alot of the women were.  and i am talking about women of all ages…they thought some airbrushing was done but they were amazed at the possible extent. so i say show me real women and glam them up also…why not?

  2. says

    My main criticism of this video is that it implies all the ads and editorials you see are created with such extreme post-production. Yes, these photographs are made by a team of makeup artists, hair stylists, and talented photographers, but in my experience they do not go to such lengths making a transformation.

    Dove makes their money selling products designed to make people look better. Does that not imply that DOVE thinks your natural self is inadequate?

  3. kim says

    i don’t believe that viewers have to take the commercial literally as an expose of post-production processes in all advertising but as a prompt to question what editors and corporations could possibly do to photographs. 

    to respond to the original question, how can having a longer neck be aspirational?  beyond grooming and healthy self-esteem, why do we have to aspire to be different than we are?

  4. maryann says

    hi mom this an interesting commercial, read the posts below; they said some interesting things about beauty.
    I personally, have always been inspired by beauty. I would hate to see a magazine full of ordinary looking women. mankind has always been attracted to aesthetically beautiful things and that includes women. Beauty in all its form inspires us in a way not easily explained but felt deeply within. I get so tired of women complaining about what they see on t.v. and print and how they can never attain that kind of beauty. Well hey, we can’t all paint like Piccasso but we can still be inspired by his art or at the very least just enjoy looking at it. I think this is how women should look at the beautiful women in magazines. of course many women have a different point of view with some valid points but ultimately it is an insecurity problem, I think by overcoming that they will have a different impression of what they see on tv.
    Ok, Im done with my beauty ramble; I am stalling because I have a dreaded essay to write.
    love carol

  5. leigh robb says

    I thought this was one of the best commericials I’ve seen in ages.  It’s geared toward young girls who would “kill” to look like the models in magazines, and shows that “everything’s not always as it seems”.  Absolutely wonderful and powerful!

  6. margaret says

    I think it is entirely possible to re-condition ourselves to see beauty in what is real, just as we have been conditioned to only see beauty in what is unrealistic.

    Of course people like to look at beautiful things… but beauty really is subjective.

  7. TBF says

    Many of us want to buy the aspiration… that if we buy the beauty product advertise, we’ll wake up and look like Scarlett Johannsen or have necks like Tyra Banks… ( on America’s Top Model, Tyra Bank always states to the models that they should work on extending their necks)..

    The reason why i find this commercial sooo interesting is that I was a having a conversation with a stylist friend of mine about why all the women in catalogs like Coldwater Creek, Lane Bryant, etc don’t look like people who would actually buy stuff from the catalog. My friend, a stylist who styles these catalogs, stated when companies (whether true or not) tried featuring more realistic models sales drop signficantly.

  8. Melva says

    I think the commercial did justice for the immature.  Yes we like to see beautiful things, but why can’t we accept our natural beauty.  We don’t want people to like us for the mask they see on our face, because when it’s all washed off, would they have found you still attractive?  I am all for being beautiful and wearing makeup, but people need to know, it’s just an enhancement of our natural beauty, don’t obsess over it!

  9. says

    I think this is exactly what the world needs out there. Are we aware of the big issue with eating desorder and suicide among teenagers linked to low self esteem? I think that the more we can contribute to the world to have a more realistic balance in life about what is real and what is not, the safer our world be.

  10. Carla says

    I love it. With the prevalence and acceptance of plastic surgery today, especially among celebrities, plus the photo-retouching that I have a feeling happens way more than we realize, our notion of beauty in this society seems to be heading for an ever more ‘perfect’ ideal.

    That’s a bad thing in a lot of ways. Young girls hating their looks and asking for surgical assistance at ever-younger ages is an obvious one.

    There’s also the financial disparity; only those with money can afford to improve on mother nature. Could this contribute to the widening gap between the haves and the have nots?

    Can we picture a possible future where the ‘uglies’ actually become a lower class?  (Love Ugly Betty, by the way!)We already know that attractive people have an easier time getting jobs, for one example of many.

    I gotta admit, the Dove Campaign is thought provoking indeed!

  11. Anonymous says

    I believe that models are regular people too. A very small portion of the population albeit, but they still are there. Instead of having simply inspirational beauty, mix it in with aspirational beauty too. They have bad hair days, puffy eyes, blotchy skin etc.

  12. Lisa says

    I think there is much more to this commerical than just making us think.  It is wonderful for anyone with a daughter.  Young girls have such trouble with their self image, it is great to show them that these “perfect models” are no different than anyone else out there.

  13. says

    I love that video. I can understand that some people are inspired by beauty we need to ask ourselves is this a healthy aspiration? If we are seeing these images and changing ourselves to look like these “perfect women”…are we really bettering ourselves or making clones? 

    I think the whole purpose of this video is to show that there is nothing wrong with being you. Other people are not going to appreciate your beauty as much as you do. They will airbrush you, change your style, change your makeup and hair and turn you into their definition of beauty.

    But real beauty is who you really are. Real beauty is more than just the physical. I think if a woman can show the world just as she is – flaws and all – and STILL be confident…THAT is something I would admire.

  14. Nancy says

    I am 59 years old, (young!) not overweight, have lots of natural silver hair, am told I am pretty, & am interested in posing nude for your T.V. commercials. I love that concept….aging IS beautiful!!
    Please reply to this email if you are interested in seeing me.
    Nancy (a.k.a. Granny)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *