Campaign For Real Beauty challenges stereotypical beauty ideals
Four Arab women – a Saudi, a Palestinian and two Lebanese – whose looks differ from the stereotypical beauty ideal portrayed in the media are featuring in the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty that was launched today in the Arab region.
The launch follows results of a Dove study that revealed only two per cent of women worldwide are comfortable describing themselves as beautiful, while specific Arabian research showed that nine out of 10 females are unhappy with their physical attributes.
Unilever Arabia marketing director Iain Potter said: “The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has a strong resonance and relevance for all women. The unattainable beauty standards set by the advertising and beauty industries put severe pressure on women to change the way they look and feel, leading to personal agony and issues like anorexia and depression”.
“It is in this context of the increasing vulnerability of women – especially young girls – to the beauty ideals set before them that we launch the Campaign For Real Beauty and ask the community to step forward and protect not a minority but the majority.”
To launch the campaign in the Arab region the question - ‘what is female beauty?’ - was posed to the media, women from society and industry commentators in an open forum discussion.
The Dove research study was conducted among 3,300 women from the top 10 countries worldwide that represent the different continents across the world. These included Saudi Arabia, UK, USA, Germany and Japan.
Dove regional brand manager Rola Tassabehji said: “The study conducted in the region has revealed that a typical female beauty would be a tall and thin 20s girl, with symmetrical features, made up looks, and long and straight black hair.
“The women we chose for this campaign do not conform to these beauty ideals and yet they all have inspirational attractiveness. We hope that through this campaign women will feel more comfortable with their body image and try to look beyond the stereotypes presented on the fashion catwalk, media and entertainment industries.”
Two of the women featuring in the campaign - Marwa Abdul Jawad and Jouhaina Boudiwan – also took part in the dialogue along with the panel members Rola Tassabehji, Karishma Chugani, fashion designer and a member of the Dove Advisory Board, Dr Hissa Lootah, assistant professor of Mass Communications at UAE University, Al Ain and Rabee Abu Kishek, marketing manager at Unilever Arabia.
The well known television producer and presenter Shahnaz Pakravan moderated the forum. She said: “Women should be encouraged to do what they want to do to look good, and feel good about doing it. They should not necessarily buy in to preconceived notions and stereotypes of what beauty is supposed to be.”
Featuring powerful taglines, the supporting advertising campaign challenges whether or not beauty is confined to age, size, conventional looks, symmetrical features and hair texture.
The ads direct women to www.campaignforrealbeauty.ae to cast their votes or SMS their preference to +971.50.233 1113 and engage in an ongoing dialogue about beauty with other women across the world. The campaign is also supported by a tour of shopping malls in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.