Where The Latest Dove Beauty Experiment Failed

So I saw the latest Dove Beauty Experiment several weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking to myself about it ever since.  Being that it’s Thursday, and I’m allowed to #TOL, let’s link-up with Amanda at Running with Spoons, and discuss my latest rant, shall we?



Please don’t jump on me yet!  CONTROVERSY ahead, but please hear me out!  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Dove Beauty experiments that have resonated with me — and made me want high five each and every member of their team — but this latest one, I don’t really care for.

In case you haven’t seen it, or didn’t click on the video above, the experiment took place in cities around the globe.  Two sets of entrance doors to buildings were transformed into a set of “beautiful” doors and “average” doors, and each woman passing through had to make a choice about themselves; do I choose to see myself as beautiful or average? Some headed straight through either door, some hesitated and changed their minds, and I think even a few walked away.  I probably would have walked away myself, but not because I couldn’t decide, but because the whole experiment rubs me the wrong way.

NO, I don’t think there is any harm in asking women to think about how they see themselves, or to be honest about what their self-perception is.

I just wonder why the only two options are “Beautiful” and “Average”.  Why isn’t there a “Clever” or “Original” or “Amazing” or “Strong” door to choose?

I know it’s a beauty campaign and the word “beautiful” could be assumed in its use to encompass clever, original, amazing, and strong, but why why WHY must those qualities have to be assumed under the (more superficial) blanketed label,  “beautiful“?

This is where (I think) the latest Dove Beauty Experiment failed.

“Choose whether you find yourself to be beautiful or average.”

Beautiful or average?

What if you don’t choose to see yourself as just either of those two?  Seriously, we’re ALL so much more than beautiful or …I’m already sick of saying it, average.


I think this experiment is taking steps away from an empowerment message about what makes women beautiful.  That message, in my opinion, is to see themselves as capable and multidimensional people who don’t need to define their self-worth as being one of two superficial choices.


Dove, I love what you do for my skin and hair and I’m ALL about you showcasing photoshopped images to us that prove how badly the advertising industry wants us to all hate ourselves “just enough”.

However, limiting a woman’s choice to be between “beautiful” or “average” missed an even bigger opportunity.

The bigger opportunity to allow women to choose more, because choosing to see yourself as beautiful should be about more than just liking what’s in the mirror.

As a woman, I don’t always find my biggest struggles to be whether or not I see myself as beautiful or average.  Truly, my biggest struggles are whether or not I see myself as capable, strong, and respected.

That being said, if I choose to think that labeling myself as capable or strong also makes me beautiful, that’s my choice, but it’s not my first choice.

While it’s important that we all  #ChooseBeautiful for ourselves, it’s also important that we all #ChooseMore for ourselves first.

[Tweet “Where (I Think) The Latest Dove Beauty Experiment Failed via @BeetsPerMinute  #ChooseMore”]

What do you think of the Dove #ChooseBeautiful experiment?  Do you think we should #ChooseBeautiful or #ChooseMore?




Spread the good word!


  1. April 30, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    Spot on, girl. Love that you pointed this out. I mean… I guess they couldn’t exactly give women tonnes of different options because there aren’t -that- many different entrances, but having to choose between beautiful and average is definitely a bit limiting. And I’m not sure why everything comes down to beauty, either. I know that the times I feel the most beautiful are the times where I feel the best about myself in general… Most of the time, the days I struggle with body image are the days where I’m feeling bad in other areas of my life.

    • April 30, 2015 / 2:03 pm

      I guess at the end of the day, they are trying to sell beauty products, so I get why it’s their focus, but if they could try and get just the tiniest bit below the skin I would have felt more of a connection to this experiment! I also agree that the times I feel most beautiful are when I’m empowering myself and things are going well and I’m feeling all of those other things besides pretty on the outside. Thanks for reading and sharing! And helping me TOL. 🙂

  2. April 30, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    If I HAD to choose between only those two doors, I’d walk through the average door backwards holding dynamite while middle fingering the rest of the world. LOL. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I think no matter how we perceive ourselves, all that matters is that we just keep moving forward. Labels don’t define us. I may walk through the beautiful door or the average door or a door made out of hot dog wieners but it’s still Suzy. Suzy in all her messy glory. And maybe that’s average, or maybe that’s beautiful but all that matters is that I keep moving forward.

    • April 30, 2015 / 3:49 pm

      Haha! That’s the most awesome comment, Suzy. I want to walk through a door made out of hot dogs now LOL! Labels are annoying! Also there’s no way you could ever be average! 🙂

  3. April 30, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I totally agree! When I watched the video the first time I didn’t pin point your argument because I guess I knew it was coming from Dove. I would definitely prefer to be brave, clever and charismatic just because “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”. What is beauty? However, if it all starts by making all women feel beautiful then I am in support of these initiatives. I guess that it may be a bumpy and rocky road but we will get there!! 🙂

    • April 30, 2015 / 3:55 pm

      I love Dove and their experiments, but this one I just really felt strongly about because I just felt like c’mon — I may be completely off-base myself, but it just made me think this way and I couldn’t drop it lol. But yes, absolutely anything that starts to get us talking and thinking outside the box about beauty standards is fantastic! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, Elsie! <3

  4. April 30, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I am so with you on this one – I really wasn’t happy with the fact that women were made to choose and choose between something that they may never define themselves until that point… The A word!!!
    Maybe asking women to state what one word they thought defines them best would have been better and more positive – showing how we are all unique and different and how brilliant that is!

    • April 30, 2015 / 4:00 pm

      Yes, Jen! I think that was my gut reaction once I saw “beautiful” and “average” I was like, “oh c’mon, really??!” — because, honestly, I was excited to see what they were going to do. Sometimes I absolutely love their experiments, but this one just felt off for me — they had such a fantastic opportunity that they totally missed, in my opinion. They should hire me lol — I’m really not an egomaniac! #labels Also, looking forward to getting juice with you manana! x

  5. April 30, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    Great points. I get the purpose of the campaign but you are right that it is limiting in a lot of ways. I didn’t even think about it so thanks for doing the thinking for me haha 🙂

    • April 30, 2015 / 5:13 pm

      Let’s just say …I’ve got A LOT of time on my hands lately – too much, I think! 😉 Look out ‘errrbody! Though, seriously, I just felt there was a better way and a better message to send! You win some – you lose some, Dove! Thanks for letting me do some thinking for you, Erin! You’re brave lol!

  6. April 30, 2015 / 7:25 pm

    I really never thought about that when I saw the commercial but you definitely raise a good point.

    • April 30, 2015 / 7:38 pm

      Thanks, Jen! I wouldn’t normally have gone into SUCH a length to discuss it but I really, really felt that gut reaction after I watched it. Thanks for reading and sharing a thought! 🙂

  7. May 1, 2015 / 9:28 am

    Always choose more and the inner and outer beautiful will shine through naturally!

    • May 1, 2015 / 10:03 am

      Absolutely and that’s just the point I am trying to make 🙂 Sometimes I just wish there was much more focus on that in these experiments, because that’s the central issue more than anything else! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jill! 🙂

  8. May 1, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    Right on! I understand and appreciate what they’re trying to do, but your right… it falls a bit short. Also, I want a door that says “unicorn.”

    • May 1, 2015 / 8:53 pm

      Haha yes! A unicorn door would be most excellent, Laura! We should do our own experiment!

  9. May 4, 2015 / 1:59 pm

    I disagree, but that is because my definition of beautiful is so much more than the superficial one. When I hear the word (or see it in this case) I think strong and confident and full of life. I think smart and courageous and healthy. Average to me sounds mindless and willing to follow the crowd. It sounds like a lemming. I was moved by this ad and feel that the real problem lies in our shallow definition of what is beautiful.

    • May 4, 2015 / 2:22 pm

      I’m glad it moved you and how you see it makes sense. I agree the definition of beauty is at the heart of the issue. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • May 4, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      Yay!! Let’s make it happen!! #ChooseMore

      Thanks, Jen! 🙂

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