Dove have produced a new short film in conjunction with the Campaign for Real Beauty:
This is a great film and promotes a really important issue – that the cosmetics industry negatively affects young girls as well as grown women. However, these campaigns that try to persuade us to love our bodies, warts and all, really bug me sometimes.
There seems to be this assumption that women hate their bodies because of the constant bombardment of unrealistic images thrust at us by Hollywood and the cosmetics industry, and so we all need to learn to love our bodies in order to compensate for it. Fine. But why should I love my body? It’s just a body. Men aren’t expected to love their bodies. Loving your body makes as little sense as hating it. What we really need, in my opinion, is just to quit being so obsessed with our bodies in the first place.
The reason that loving your body is considered so important is that women’s bodies are considered so disproportionately crucial to their worth as human beings. From childhood, women are taught that their self esteem should be tied up in their looks. There’s this idea that you can’t walk down the street with your head held high if you don’t adore every inch of your body. This is bullshit. You don’t have to love your body in order to be confident, because you are much more than just your body.
This pressure to love your body is just that: more pressure, on top of the pressure that women already feel with regards to the way they look. Loving your lardy arse is just as self-absorbed as punishing it with cellulite cream. You are only truly free of the beauty industry and the airbrushed standards it promotes if your lardy arse is not an issue in the first place.
The Campaign for Real Beauty, whilst coming up with some great films, totally skirts the issue. Although ‘Love Your Body’ is a big step up from ‘You Need Cellulite Cream’, the issue that would really be helpful for them to push is, ‘Your Body Isn’t Actually That Important’. But then, that won’t help them sell any body lotion.