Real Women and Definitions of Beauty

By Jessica Rainer

The 2004 Dove Campaign was meant to “inspire women and society to think differently about what is defined as beautiful.” The campaign used models of different shapes, sizes ages and personalities. Advertisements asked consumers questions such as “wrinkled or wonderful?” “Flawed or flawless?” They didn’t use flashy clothes or high-fashioned models in the advertisements; instead, they wanted the audience “to view the products on their real selves.” Dove campaign

In the study Real Women on Real Beauty, Kimberly Bissell and Amy Rask tested whether the exposure to average-sized women in the campaign would result in short-term lower self-discrepancy (a gap between one’s self-representations) or less identification with the thin ideal.

The study found that “because of the discrepancy between what is expected and what is real, women are left with psychological dispositions which cause low self-internalization (identification) and self-esteem.”

I personally feel that the media has definitely altered our views of what “real beauty,” is, and that many women have low self-esteem because of the airbrushed, photo-shopped models and actors that they see on advertisements. I think the media has influenced young and older women’s views of their body and appearance and  caused them to get plastic surgery to change their appearance; it has also led to anorexia, bulimia etc.

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