Can we talk about this short video that has been making its way through the Catholic blogosphere in recent days? The video is an ad that’s part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty in which the Dove company hopes to expose some of the unrealistic and potentially harmful images of femininity promoted by the beauty industry.
First of all, hooray for Dove. It seems this particularbranch of the beauty industry just might happen to care about girls’emotional and physical health and well-being.
But what about the rest of the industry? Are any of us immune toits insidious influence? I have heard even some of the smartest,strongest, holiest, and most beautiful (yes, truly beautiful!) women Iknow make critical remarks about their physical appearances. They worryabout wrinkles. They feel fat. They feel ugly. They don’t measure up.
But guess what? None of us does. As the video so clearlydemonstrates, even the models themselves can’t meet the beautyindustry’s impossible standards of perfection without professional helpand computer enhancement.
Let’s face it. Companies that sell cosmetics and weight lossproducts make their profits by setting impossible standards for beautyand squashing women’s self esteem in the process. The question is, howdo we keep materialism and commercialism from hurting our daughters?How do we raise confident girls who reject commercial notions of beautyand instead cultivate real beauty in their hearts, minds, and souls?How do we teach them to appreciate the gifts of real femininity andwomanhood? And for that matter, how do we raise boys to do the same?