Dear Dove

I am not really very political or militant about things. Things I see or read do affect me, sometimes greatly. However I rarely get on my soapbox to voice my opinion, especially on my blog.

Some of the best bloggers I read are opinionated, fierce, wonderful advocates for people’s rights and they challenge everything. I love reading them, even just their tweets but I rarely get involved.

This is down to one reason. TIME.

I work full time, have a family, responsibilities and a busy social life. Now I know those bloggers do too, but they manage their social media and available time a whole lot better than I do.

When I go on Twitter, I see things that are happening, and before I can look at the bigger picture and get involved, the timeline changes and I have missed it all.

However, I certainly didn’t miss some tweets from “Bert” otherwise known as Arched Eyebrow, who was calling out the Dove Brand over the release of bottles for every body. And yes, there is supposed to be a space between the two words “every and body”

I was so infuriated. For once I wanted to get on my literal soapbox. In case you don’t know what I am talking about, here it is briefly.

Some advertising person sat in a building coming up with new angles, decided it would be a brilliant campaign to make all the Dove bottles different shapes and sizes to celebrate the fact that Women’s bodies are all different.

Really???

This idea (I would imagine) somehow passed through discussions, getting the green light and bottles were manufactured.

At what point didn’t someone say “What the actual F*ck are we playing at? What idiot seriously thinks this is a viable idea?”

Women want something to wash their bodies with. They like pretty packaging. They might like a nice scent.

They don’t want or need bottles supposedly shaped liked their bodies. And to be honest, I don’t think I have ever met anyone with bodies like Dove is telling us we have!

This feels like just another form of body shaming.

If we pick up a “slender” bottle when we are plus size, will we get stopped by security at the tills with bells and whistles going off?

“S’cuse me madam but I think you need to put that back on the shelf and get the right shaped one”

Photo by David Swift

Will we get a look from a snooty assistant as they look you up and down and you can see them thinking “your body shape? yeah right”

Now whilst this all sounds a bit far fetched and highly unlikely, when does this kind of pigeonholing stop?

I don’t need a bottle to tell me I am short fat and round. I know my shape intimately as I have to live with it every day. What I see in the mirror. What I have to dress. What I try and love every day as it has carried me through so much.

But no matter how much positivity and confidence I try and exude, there will always be that tiny evil little demon buried deep inside me that tells me….

“You are fat and ugly. You need to lose weight. No-one will ever love you when you are the size of a whale”

Most of the time I manage to drown it out.  But seeing campaigns like this make the voice a little louder.

We see enough prejudice against the plus size community already. Skinny shaming is a real thing too and I know it hurts just as badly.

The Media tries to tell us what we should look like, what size we should be, what clothes we should wear, what miraculous new make-up will revitalize our faces and our lives.

For us over a certain age or experience (or fed up with the bullshit as I like to put it) We don’t buy into the glossy magazines that promise us eternal happiness if we just wear/use/buy etc.

Photoshop and other programmes that airbrush the photographs are prevalent in the media. What you see on the billboard or magazine or even the screen is not a true representation of a woman.

The young are particularly susceptible into reading this garbage and thinking they aren’t good enough. Not thin enough or pretty enough. And as a mother of 20 year old girls I HATE IT.

It has made my girls cry. They have brought useless products that promise the earth and do nothing. They despair at the fact that in some shops a size 14 is classed as extra large/plus size. This has and still does break my heart.

And whilst I sound like I have gone off on a slight tangent, for me it is all the same thing. Dove have produced these bottles, thinking us weak insipid women will get down on our knees and thank them for recognising all our different body types in their plastic bottles.

So grateful are we to them for trying to include “every body” that the product is sure to fly off the shelves?

Well not into my shopping basket any more. I don’t need to be patronised by a company and they certainly won’t be getting my money.

Whilst this means I now need to find a new shampoo, conditioner, body wash and deodorant, I think it is worth it!

I just want a product that does what it says and leave me feeling good. Not something that demoralises me and makes that demon shout that bit louder every time I see these stupid bottles on the shelf.

Dove, do us all a favour and go back to what you know best.

And that isn’t the inside workings of a woman’s mind!

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