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Dove Has Women Walk Through Doors Labeled “Beautiful” Or “Average” In Latest Campaign

Once again, soap is acting condescending. This post has been updated.

update

This post was inappropriately deleted amid an ongoing conversation about how and when to publish personal opinion pieces on BuzzFeed. The deletion was in violation of our editorial standards and the post has been reinstated.

2. Dove is at it again with a viral beauty video meant to have women question the way they see themselves: beautiful or average.

Dove / Via Youtube.com

Because life is apparently defined by these two labels and nothing else.

3. Needless to say, women don’t expect to be confronted with such a scary, vague, and superficial question on their way to Starbucks.

Dove / Via YouTube.com

She came here to have some fun and is honestly feeling so attacked right now.

4. The video is based on a statistic from Dove that 96% of women wouldn’t describe themselves as beautiful.

Dove / Via YouTube.com

You know, maybe those women described themselves as smart, funny, generous, kind, but we’ll never know, because the soap manufacturer wants to tell us how we feel about ourselves. And then fix it for us. With soap.

5. Plenty of women go through the average door and are then made to feel bad about their decision.

Dove / Via YouTube.com

One woman says tearfully, “Given another chance, I would choose beautiful.”

6. Of course, at the end, plenty of women go through the beautiful door, too. It ends with a Dove logo, suggesting that we all should #ChooseBeautiful.

Dove / Via YouTube.com

7. Of course, Dove is a soap manufacturer that produces “corrective” products like cellulite cream and skin whitening products, so it feels ~weird~ that they’re telling women to call themselves beautiful.

Dove has a long and fabled history of experimenting with the shame women feel about their bodies and posturing that they are the way out of it. See their previous experiments: having an illustrator sketch out women’s perceptions of themselves, asking women to raise their armpits to promote skin whitening cream, and a video about the media onslaught of sexualized imagery through the eyes of a little girl.

8. Maybe the real question we should be asking is why do we have to choose — and especially between such vague, material choices.

You don’t have to be beautiful (or at the very least, you shouldn’t have to be), and not being beautiful doesn’t mean you’re average. Feeling beautiful is an obligation and a pressure — and sometimes a pleasure, but not always. Feeling beautiful is so much work: work that beauty companies cash in on and exploit.
At the very least, we don’t need our soap to try to be our therapist. Just work and let us think for ourselves.

9. Check out the full video below.

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