Tomorrow Dove will debut its newest “body positive” campaign during the Oscars. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:
As usual, its attempt to create some huge social change and awareness comes from a good place, but honestly, did anyone at Dove really sit down to plan this one out?
On Oscar night, Dove is planning on policing the web and flagging certain keywords related to body image and then in response tweet positive messages in order to combat them. Dove is attempting to show that “it only takes one positive tweet to start a new trend”.
Ok, Dove. That’s great, but from what I’ve seen, that just ain’t gonna work.
Want reasons why? Well, here you go!
You Can’t Un-Ring a Bell
I’m a recovered anorexic and belong to a number of different facebook groups for eating disorder recovery. Even in these private groups where all of us have had it drilled in our heads to be body positive, (and most of the time only positive and encouraging messages are posted) every now and then a negative remark is made. And even when the admin of the group removes this post, most of us have already seen it. As much as I try, I have never been able to un-see something. So I hate to break it to you, your combat technique is like trying to un-ring a bell; you just can’t erase something once it’s been said.
You’ve Got the Wrong Guy
Going after tweets is great but honestly it’s all for not if you are attempting to change the way we see beauty in ourselves. Studies have shown that the biggest influence on how girls and young women perceive their body is their closest friends and family (ie. Mothers, grandmothers, best friends). Most of the tweeters in my feed do not fall under that category and I would think this to be the same for the general population.
You Can’t Control Others
I’m kind of a self-help junkie at this point and if there is one thing I know to be true about creating change is that you must first realize what is and what isn’t in your control. I will put in an easy to understand format:
Things you can change = Your own thoughts and actions
Things you can’t change = Other people’s thoughts and actions
Again Dove, I appreciate your efforts but unfortunately as T-Swift says “The haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate”. All we really have control over is how we feel and how we act. If people are going to put up nasty negative body image remarks on social feeds you can decide if you are going take it in or let it go. Might I suggest an “un-friend” or “un-follow”?
So again, thank you Dove for your meager attempt to create change, but let’s just be honest. You just really want to sell more soap, right?