Dove has launched a film as part of its ongoing #StopTheBeautyTest campaign. Conceptualised by Ogilvy, the film showcases how young girls continue to be forced and groomed to the standards of a male-dominant society.
The film features young school-going girls, who are conditioned to abandon their true selves, to please the likes of others. It begins with a mother forcefully applying haldi to her daughter’s face while she's studying, in hopes to enhance her looks. Other instances show a girl whose curly hair is being straightened, while a girl with pimples is asked to hide her face with her hair. In another scene, a teacher is seen removing the spectacles off a girl, to make her look more presentable on their annual day.
Towards the end of the film, the girl puts on her spectacles and continues with the performance, while the teacher stares at her in disbelief. The voice-over then explains how most girls are asked to prioritise their appearance over their education, only to find a man.
Madhusudhan Rao, executive director, beauty and personal care, Hindustan Unilever, said, “Over the last 10 years, with the Dove Self-Esteem Project, we are working towards a vision where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. We want to empower young girls to rise above the unjust beauty report cards given to them and be confident in their own skin. As a brand that is committed to taking tangible action to change beauty, we hope the real-life stories of young girls is an eye opener for the society to take notice leading to a behavior change. Dove is on a mission to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look.”
Harman Dhillon - vice president, hair care, Unilever, added, “Our new campaign further fortifies our commitment to widen the definition of beauty and ensure its representation is holistic and inclusive. With Dove’s #StopTheBeautyTest initiative, we intend to bring to light the beauty report card, which young girls can be subjected to, thereby reducing their self-esteem. With this campaign we want to urge society to look beyond beauty stereotypes and celebrate every girl’s individuality and uniqueness.”
Zenobia Pithawalla, senior executive creative director and Mihir Chanchani, executive creative director, Ogilvy, said, “The ‘beauty test’ has become such an integral part of our society that it starts right from the school years for girls. Their face and body become a marksheet for society to score. In this campaign, Dove shows us the plight and the determination of the school girls to not give into this grading system. It urges society to stop the beauty test and to start building beauty confidence of young girls.”