Monday, December 28, 2009

Onslaught(er)

I included a video in the previous post called "Onslaught", I used the video to illustrate the massive pressure on females to conform to certain standards of "beauty".  But there's a bit more to the story.  Take a look at the video again:



It did not escape my attention that this video was produced by the "Dove Self Esteem Fund".  This is the same Dove that makes beauty products.  The idea behind this fund is to "help free the next generation from self-limiting beauty stereotypes".  This strategy should sound familiar.  Think cigarette manufacturers and their campaigns to stop youth smoking; chemical companies that pollute the environment and their environmental campaigns (the "human element" of Dow).

Greenpeace especially did not think much of the hypocritical concern about female self-esteem displayed in the Dove video.  Their disgust focused on the fact that beauty products such as Dove soap are made at the expense of the environment.  Greenpeace produced a counter-video called "Dove Onslaught(er)", which is a pretty good take-off on the Dove video.  Here it is:



The Greenpeace video apparently struck a nerve, mobilizing massive public support of their "Dove campaign", calling attention to the connection between Dove and the destruction of forests in South East Asia.  Unilever, maker of Dove products, has apparently knuckled under (according to Greenpeace) and agreed to help save the lowland forests of South East Asia. As the biggest single buyer of palm oil in the world, Unilever supposedly agreed to support the call by Greenpeace for an immediate moratorium on deforestation for palm oil plantations and to encourage other beauty product companies to do the same.

The Dove video has had 610,439 views and the Greenpeace video has had 1,047,847 views on YouTube.

I'm not sure what the message of this post is.  Beauty comes at a price--in more ways than one?  

1 comment:

César Sánchez said...

I also noticed that the first video was co-founded by the "Dove Self Esteem Fund" -- and I didn't like that. Attaching the name of a company that makes cosmetic products to this video doesn't seem right to me. But, still, the video is valuable and communicates a clear message. It would be perfect without the last 10 seconds...

The second video (the Greenpeace one) is fine, too -- it denounces a completely different, unrelated problem. But it was a good way to get a conservationist message to a wide audience, I guess.