It’s not hard to understand why women today are under increasing amounts of pressure to look and feel a certain way. Airbrushed images of stereotypical perfection are practically force-fed to us on a daily basis; everywhere we look there’s an incredibly poised and traditionally beautiful woman in her undies attempting to sell us an idea of ultimate confidence. If we just buy that lipstick/drink that beverage/wear that dress/use that face cream we’ll become the person we’ve always wanted to be! I’ve grown up believing that my body in its natural form is not to be celebrated; if anything it’s something to be ashamed of and wrapped away, simply because I don’t look like the six foot Amazonian Goddesses that strut down the runway or feature on the front covers of my favourite magazines. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colours and forms, and it’s vitally important that women are represented in all their glory – on the telly, in magazines, within the fashion industry and as part of beauty campaigns. None of us are the same and that’s what makes us all beautiful; if we were all carbon copies the world would be a very dull place indeed, so it’s vitally important that we learn to embrace our imperfections or differences and celebrate them. Whether you’ve got a wobbly bum, greying hair, laughter lines or all the freckles, you’re beautiful just the way you are.
I do find it incredibly frustrating that the beauty industry in particular can be very one-dimensional. It’s hard to relate to the images of perfection (that are often so manipulated that they don’t actually represent the woman behind the camera,) when I’m struggling with a saggy chin and boobs that seem to have a mind of their own. Although we’re seeing more brands embracing diversity, as a whole we’ve still got a long way to go. The importance of these campaigns is paramount to the mental stability, confidence and attitude of future generations – so that they don’t have to battle with the same issues that my peers and I have struggled with. Over the last decade, one of the brands that’s been able to establish and continue a thought-provoking conversation on female beauty is undoubtedly Dove. Their campaigns were the first to break down barriers and illustrate that every woman can be beautiful: it’s just that they have to believe it from within. When their ‘campaign for real beauty’ started over ten years ago, women were possibly at their lowest ebb with only around 2% admitting to feeling beautiful; skipping forward via a few viral campaigns (many of whom went viral before ‘going viral’ was even a thing,) and thankfully that’s changed somewhat.
More than ever we’re happy to embrace our differences, imperfections, wobbly bits, skinny bits and changing bits as we realise life is not defined by the label in our clothing. It’s much easier to relate to someone who looks more like us, thanks to the power of the internet and in particular blogs, and for us to truly believe that there is more than one definition of beauty. I’ve always believed it’s so important to see that other women have cellulite, wobbly tums, wonky boobs or toes that stick out of sandals – so that we don’t judge ourselves by unrealistic perceptions and measures of what’s aesthetically pleasing. Personally I’m incredibly thankful to brands like Dove who are making a positive change, rather than just trying to sell another pot of face cream by prying on our insecurities. I’ve always adored their ‘real women’ campaigns as something that makes me feel good, positive and excited about the changes that will inevitably happen to my body in the future. It helps that their products are pretty stonking too!
I’ve used their deodorant for years as one of the few to keep me feeling confident without irritating my under arms, while their body washes are always a fixture in my bathroom. Even their delicious body oils and lotions leave my skin hydrated, smooth and soft, while their hair care range is surprisingly good for such an affordable price. You just can’t go wrong with a stash of Dove. (You can read all my previous features here.) While I’m excited to see what’s next for them in 2017, I’m also to see what campaigns they’ve got up their sleeves to keep the conversation positive and empowering… The first of which is something really rather exciting, in association with my favourite weekend destination Wilko. (Yes, I’m one of those people that can spend two hours wandering the aisles of my local store and picking up all manner of bits and bobs!) Dove are on the lookout for TEN women to be part of a new campaign which will feature in Wilko stores across the country in 2017; it doesn’t matter what size, age, height or ethnicity you are – you just need the right attitude.
Think you could be one of the fabulous ladies Dove are looking for? All you have to do is email DoveUK@bckl.co.uk with your name, email address, phone number and a short statement explaining what makes you feel beautiful. (Make sure you attach a photograph of yourself too!) That’s it. Spread the word, nominate your friends, encourage your mum or simply get involved yourself – we all need to celebrate our inner and outer beauty rather than shying away and being embarrassed of the bodies that enable us to live and breathe every day. I want to see your beautiful faces during my regular Wilko trip, so get cracking!
What do you think about the perception of women in the beauty industry? Are you excited about the changes that have been made so far, or are you concerned not enough is being done?
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Dove & Wilko; all opinions are my own and it’s a brand I’ve featured numerous times over the years because I support what they do completely.