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!

Leave a comment

  • Gareth Torrance

    As someone who has worked in marketing for over a decade, I have to say… This is a really stupid idea… Who on Earth approved this?

    • That is exactly what I would love to know!! It almost sounds like an April Fools joke…..

  • gezzabella

    Thanks for sharing. Really love this post, it is everything I thought about it after seeing it myself.

  • Anne

    By the way 2 women a week are killed by their partner and your worried about bottles, who cares they were just trying to make a point about people being different, get over yourself.

    • I am sorry Anne but I don’t see the relevance of your comment. I am well aware of the statistics on Domestic Violence, thank you very much.
      My post was made to highlight the fact that the media/brands put undue pressure on women to conform.
      If you didn’t like my post, you didn’t need to read it or leave a rude comment

  • I agree with you, it’s pigeonholing and would make me feel most uncomfortable. I’d feel like I was being judged if I dared to pick up and try and buy the slim bottle. My issue I know but I don’t appreciate it being highlighted by a body wash. Well done for your honest and upstanding post

    • Thank you so much! I didn’t know how this kind of post would be received, so it is lovely to hear your kind words xx

  • Hayley McLean

    I love this post, so well said. I saw this campaign mentioned yesterday and honestly thought it must have been a spoof like their “perfect mum” campaign and that they’d announce it was a joke, shame it’s not!
    Such a shockingly poorly judged bit of marketing, and makes me inclined to never buy a bottle again – which is a shame as I rather like the product! But the shame of having to buy the round bottle?! Or the cringe factor of picking up a slim one if it’s the last one on the shelf? Errr no thanks Dove, I’ll go for a Radox x

    • I absolutely love your comment and it was exactly what I was trying to get across. I have since found out that they test on animals, so they definitely won’t be going back into my trolley!

  • I have to admit I just cannot work out what has got into Dove at the moment they seem to have completely lost the plot what a silly idea!

  • Hannah Latoya Bond

    I do think all the different shaped bottles from Dove look absolutely stupid

    • I have never seen anyone that shape before, so I wonder who they modelled them on! xx

  • Joanna

    I must admit the bottle idea from dove is stupid. It is such a silly idea no idea how it got approved.

  • Alison Rost

    That’s why! I was just in Target this afternoon, standing in the section with all of the different looking Dove bottles. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was different about them.

  • I really don’t like these new bottles, as you said we want a bottle which does the job, not one which apparently represents our body x

  • Melanie Williams

    I do not know why Dove have done this. You make some great points here hun 🙂 x

  • Becca Talbot

    I had no idea that Dove had done this, but wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve said. I’m actually really surprised that a brand as big as Dove has made such a stupid mistake, allowing themselves to be publicly criticised for making a product that shames women’s body shapes. Remember that ad campaign a few years ago about getting your body “beach ready” and how much of a stir that caused on social media? They do so “all publicity is good publicity”, but I don’t think this will do Dove any favours! x

    • I totally understand the concept of “all publicity” etc however I don’t think this will. They have certainly lost my money xx

  • I love using Dove products. You can’t go wrong with it. I also like your hair. xx

  • Jenna E Morley

    I haven’t seen these new Dove bottles, but I, like you, can’t really understand why they felt the need to “re-bottle” the range :/

  • I hadn’t seen this campaign before now. I suppose I can see where they were going with the idea, but it seems to have backfired! It’s a shame as their self-esteem projects are so positive 🙂

    Dani x

  • Ayesha Farhad

    I personally think its their marketing technique to just re invent themselves again! seems like they’ve got everyone talking though!

  • I hadn’t even twigged the new bottles were meant to represent body shapes. I’ve not seen many people those shapes. My first though was how do people even hold half these bottles. I feel like they overstepped the mark a couple of years ago they seem to be digging a bigger hole rather than just saying sorry we f’d up lets move forward. I can’t even remember what it was they did or didn’t do! Can someone take their shovel away x

    • They need their shovel burning!! I just can’t understand how no-one questioned how bad an idea this was xx

  • Louise

    I think you are so right I never even knew about this. Terrible that a company would think like this. Someone once said that sometimes things are done as a publicity stunt so everyone talks about it. Maybe this is one of those things 😊

    • It could well be, but I think it has backfired here xx

  • UnaGeiger

    I haven’t used Dove products in ages even though I accept and sometimes even like their body positivity advertisements. I do not buy their products anymore because they still use animal testing for their products. In the end, it seems it all comes down to business. They thought using these new body shaped containers would get even more plus size women to use their products. Well they thought wrong.

    • Until I wrote this article I had no idea they tested on animals. So I won’t be buying them again even if they scrap the bottles xx

  • Sheree Green-Molloy

    Like most here I also had not seen this campaign by Dove so they will love you for bringing it to people’s attention ha – all advertising is good. I personally don’t buy Dove products – unethical, yukky chemical ingredients – we all have our personal sets of values. But back to your blog point….I agree you raise some very valid points around body shaming etc but as for the Dove campaign I don’t see anything wrong with it….we come in all sorts of shapes and sizes….that is simply the message I get.

    • I agree totally Sheree, we are all different shapes and sizes, but our bottles don’t need to be xx

  • Jessica

    I love Dove products.I think this is a marketing technique to get everyone’s attention.I think they’ve actually succeeded.But I would still say this,the idea of making the Dove bottles look like that of women is not a good idea at all.

    • I think most of the publicity has been overwhelmingly bad, so I think it has backfired on them xx

  • Kira L Curtis

    I think it’s interesting what they’ve done, but perhaps they’ve not done it in the right way. It would have been good if they’d looked at it in the way of a simple advertisement, saying we support all body types or something but then not gone on to sell the bottles in those actual shapes!

    • That would have been a much better idea Kira!! xx

  • If I’m not mistaken there was a Dove campaign a couple of years back where the same sort of concept was introduced into their advertising. Whilst it had it’s share of divisive opinions, it fared so much better than this crap! I think it’s the lamest sort of advertising tactic I have seen in a while to appear inclusive. I think Dove should just stick to that wonderfully scented bar of soap that my grandma swore by and leave it at that.

    Also, I love hearing your views so get on your virtual soapbox more often, yeah? 😉 xx

    • Oh you are so right!! And yes, I think I might have to get on soapbox quite a bit more as it has been so well received xxx

  • I does seem like someone didn’t quite think the concept through. Seems an awful waste of money producing different sized bottles for people that didn’t ask for it too. Most odd.

    • Yes! The money spent on each different bottle and I guess modifying your machinery to make/work with it was an angle I never thought of either xx

  • Wow, my mind is blown. I hadn’t seen this yet, but I’m completely shocked by this poorly executed marketing initiative.