Dove advertisement brings up question about body image

May 8, 2013

Dove advertisement brings up question about body image
Dove advertisement brings up question about body image


Have you seen the new Dove advertisement that's been making a splash on social media? The soap company is known for its "real beauty" campaign, which celebrates the human body in all of its natural forms. This most recent ad, however, draws particular attention to the way we view ourselves and the insecurities some people have about certain facial features.

Tell me about yourself
In the advertisement, you see a big, open loft-style space. Inside hangs a white curtain with a chair on either side. In one chair sits a real FBI sketch artist - the kind who draws up pictures of suspects based solely on eyewitness's descriptions.

In the other sits an ordinary woman. The ad states that neither of these individuals have met or seen each other before. The sketch artist asks the woman to describe her appearance, and as she does, he composes an image of her on his pad.

Next, a new person is brought into the room and takes the seat on the side of the curtain opposite the sketch artist. The ad informs us that this individual had a chance to meet the woman who had just described herself in the previous scene. This new person is asked to describe the first woman, and once again, the sketch artist draws an image based on that description.

Several women are shown going through this process, but the big reveal comes toward the end of the video, when the participants in this social experiment are shown the two images side by side - the one drawn based on their own description, and the one based on the descriptions of someone they had only recently met. The differences are striking. More often than not, the image based on the self-descriptions show exaggerated facial features, while those sketched base on a third-party's description are far more accurate.

What's to be learned?
This experiment in aesthetics suggests that in many ways, we can be our own worst critics. When you look in the mirror, you may see certain features that seem misshapen or disproportionate, while others may not even pick up on these so-called flaws.

That being said, it can be difficult to overcome your own personal issues, especially when they are located on your face. Even knowing that some of your "flaws" may go unnoticed by others, you might still want to make changes so you're happier with your own appearance. It is crucial to have realistic expectations and having a one-on-one consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide whether plastic surgery is right for you.


The mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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