What’s Wrong With “Real Beauty” Today

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What’s Wrong With “Real Beauty” Today

There is absolutely no doubt that society has become increasingly aware of the beauty standards that are enforced upon generations of women. Hit singles in pop culture such as “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor and “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj showcase the change in viewpoint in society, the shift of curvy women being viewed as the new “sexy”.

Last year in May, Victoria Secret was under fire in the press for their advertising campaign for their new bra, “Body”. In their advertisement, Victoria Secret had the headline as “The Perfect ‘Body'”, displaying fairly thin models wearing the “Body” bra. This advertisement insinuated that the women shown had the coveted “perfect body”: thin (And for the majority, white. But that’s a different part of the story). Viewers were enraged, claiming that this was extreme disrespect to all curvy women, since having a “perfect body” was not about merely being skinny, and for that matter, not also about being Caucasian.


In response to this, Dove launched another advertisement featuring curvy women as a part of their ongoing “Real Beauty” campaign, which gained extreme public praise.


And personally, I don’t agree with either of these campaigns. Certainly, it is evidently that the Victoria Secret “Perfect Body” campaign conforms to the bigoted concept of thin beauty, that had and still has women starving themselves for this coveted beauty. This ad sends out a damaging message to Victoria’s Secret large audience.

On the other hand, although Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign was made with good intentions, it also makes the assumption that women are naturally thin are not truly beautiful, and that in order to have “real beauty”, a woman needs to have curves.

Also, both the Dove and Victoria’s Secret campaign have another reoccurring issue that needs to be addressed in today’s civilization. After looking at the ads for a few moments, it is evident that although the Dove campaign does have a more even black to white ratio of women (The Victoria’s Secret advertisement only had two black models), there are no Asians. Evidently, the Dove campaign missed many other races, and could not incorporate every race, but it seems to be a reoccurring theme in Western beauty standards that Asian women are not a part of them at all.

Both advertisements make the mistake of claiming that one image or body type is the definition of beauty. Throughout the generations, societies have always made the mistake of trying to pinpoint one image as the beauty standard for women to live up to. But the fact of the matter is that women come in all different shapes and sizes, and it is impossible for everyone to conform to one single image.

As a society, it is crucial that people stop trying to pit women against one another and more importantly, against themselves by trying to identify that one image is more beauteous than another.

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