The Axe Effect on the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

When you live in North America everyone tells you that the fashions they have in Europe are the ones we will have 6-months to a year later. I don’t think this is true anymore, drug not with the global economy the way it is. Still, I couldn’t help but notice that in Scotland and Ireland they are working the 80’s revival pretty hard. It is happening here too but I probably noticed it more because I was out more (not working from home and not bothering to get dressed until late afternoon).

When the Mister and I were in Belfast we got dropped off at City Hall and across the street is a Karen Millen store and in the window was this dress:

This image might not look like much but we both stopped in our tracks. For starters, I’m already excited that plaids and tweeds are in (again) this season, and this dress, unlike everything else we saw does not scream Video Killed the Radio Star. The Mister even wanted me to go in and look at it but I’m not buying anything I may not fit into later – and we don’t have 160 pounds sterling to spend on a dress. Notice the cute pseudo-corset waist? This is so much a Melanie dress it hurts. It’s good I didn’t go in because I might have also seen this:

I tried to see if anything similar was going on in the maternity stores but they only catered to the pregnant Pat Benatar and Debbie Harry wannabes – and I don’t fall into that category.

Other inspiring finds across the pond: Ness of Scotland

I didn’t buy anything but I probably should have got those boots. I live in a cold climate and, even though I fould it rather cold over there apparently I’m the only one because the winter clothing was abysmally thin and looked like what we have for spring over here. I like my winter clothes to have a bit of weight to them – and a bit of wool.
Dove has launched their newest video Onslaught as a follow-up to their popular viral marketing video Evolution. Both these videos are great in that the message is about self-esteem and breaking down beauty myths perpetrated by the industry. The line at the end of the Onslaught video is: Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.

However, physiotherapy
Dove is owned by Unilever. Unilever IS the beauty industry: the world’s second biggest advertiser and manufacturer of skin whiteners, diet drinks, cosmetics, and other beauty products.

Citing the hypocrisy inherent in Unilever’s marketing Dove products by promoting “Real Beauty” for girls while simultaneously advertising Axe Body Spray by degrading them, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has launched a letter-writing campaign to Unilever demanding that they end their Axe advertising.

“Even as Unilever basks in praise for its Dove Real Beauty campaign, they are profiting from Axe marketing that blatantly objectifies and degrades young women,” said CCFC’s director and co-founder, Dr. Susan Linn.

As anyone who has been near a TV in the last couple of years would know, Axe Effect commercials are highly degrading to women – often picturing them getting into cat fights, have sex in elevators with unattractive old men and chasing men down the street – and now if you go to their website you can download your very own Axe V.I.X.E.N.

Very Interactive Xtremely Entertaining Naughty Supermodels – known simply as Vixens will appear on your computer. Then the often arousing but always entertaining game begins. Enjoy these special ladies by using your voice to command them.

I wish I was making this up. So while it is commendable that Dove has launched their Campaign for Real Beauty for your daughter, the effect is lessened that the same company has downloadable vixens on their website waiting for your son to come along and spank them.

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