The “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty” is a marketing campaign for Dove soaps, but also an effort to address widespread, destructive advertising which creates false perceptions of beauty among girls, boys, women and men worldwide every day. The following video, “Evolution,” is an advertisement for Dove soap but also makes a powerful statement in 75 seconds: No one should believe that ANY photograph on a magazine cover, billboard, or other advertisement is real and authentic.
This video and advertising campaign is several years old, dating back to 2006, but I just stumbled upon it tonight viewing videos uploaded or “favorited” by people who have shared videos with me on YouTube in the past few months. The English WikiPedia article, “Evolution (advertisement),” includes more information about the video and its backstory.
We need MUCH more discussion and focus on media literacy in our schools. Interestingly, it appears “Media Literacy Week” was recognized last week (Oct 3-10) in some parts of the United States, including St Louis. In Canada, “Media Literacy Week” is scheduled for November 2-6, 2009. Do we have a “Media Literacy Week” website for the United States? If anyone recognized “Media Literacy Week” in Oklahoma last week, it’s strange there are not any references to those activities in Google News this evening. I suspect this wasn’t an acknowledged / recognized focus week in our Oklahoma schools and communities. If not, that is unfortunate.
My top recommended books on media literacy at this point, more for educators rather than students, are:
- Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman
- Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman
- No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs by Naomi Klein
This advertising / media literacy campaign by Dove is smart on their part. The messages of the campaign are important and needed, but it’s ironic a branding / marketing campaign is funding the educational effort. Because this is a marketing effort, the “campaign” should invite critical scrutiny by media literacy students and educators alike. Just because marketing companies paid by Dove are promoting positive self-esteem messages for girls and young women, should we all go out and buy more Dove soap? I don’t think so. Yet that is most likely the intent and the result of this campaign.
As part of their U.S. campaign, girls are encouraged to submit videos up to 30 seconds in length and add them to the “Real Beauty Wall.”
The June 2008 Dove-commissioned report, “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem,” includes troubling findings about girls’ self esteem when it comes to beauty:
– Seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members
– Reality vs. Perception: Low self-esteem significantly impacts girls’ overall feelings about their own beauty
– Girls with low self-esteem are significantly more likely to engage in negative behaviors
– The self-esteem tipping point: Transition to teenage years results in loss of trust and communication with adults
– Parents’ words and actions play a pivotal role fostering positive self-esteem in girls
If you’re a parent of girls, have you told them recently how beautiful you think they are? Certainly this is not a cure-all: We can’t simply tell the women in our lives they are beautiful and hope that will counter-balance all the destructive, fictional messages about beauty which we all face each day in our media-saturated environment. Yet we also should not underestimate the power and importance of our words.
Words can be powerful.
Words help define who we are, because we become the person we repeatedly say we are.
Each of us IS a beautiful creation, wrought as unique beings of infinite value.
We all could probably use more edification each day about our appearance as well as our value.
What are you doing to promote better media literacy in your classroom and home? Do you have links to other videos you like to use for media literacy discussions, besides Dove’s “Evolution?”
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On this day..
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- Waiting For Superman: A Good Film to Provoke Conversations We Need - 2010
- Welcome to the 2010 K-12 Online Conference - 2010
- First Proctored Quiz with Moodle - 2010
- Chinesepod and Connectivism: More connections lead to more learning - 2008
- Tagging the K-12 Online Conference - 2007
- Google Teacher Academy - 2006
- When Night Falls skypecast notes - 2006
- The joy of chess - 2006
- Podcast on open source, thin clients in Education - 2005