South African role model
The women featured in the Dove Real Beauty Showcase are all real women who will be introduced to the world by name. Each of them had a say in how they looked in their photographs and some of the young women featured have also benefitted from self-esteem education delivered through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, a programme created to help girls develop a positive relationship with the way they look and to reach their full potential in life.
South African research indicates need for reality
Dove research found that although 9-10 women and girls in South Africa are proud to be female and embrace it, 65% of women and 72% of girls wish the media did a better job of portraying women of diverse physical appearance in terms of race, age, shape and size; 54% of South African women and 58% of girls believe the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty most women can’t ever change and 73% of women believe that social media creates more pressure for people to look a certain way.
The Real Beauty Pledge was launched alongside a new campaign with world-renowned photographer Mario Testino. Famous for taking beautiful and candid shots of women and bringing out the humanity in his subjects, he has photographed 30 portraits showcasing the beauty of women from around the world.
All the images have been inspired by and shot according to the Dove Real Beauty Pledge and feature 32 women and girls, aged 11-71, from all over the world – including South Africa. The portraits make up part of the Dove Real Beauty Showcase.
Testino commented on the campaign, “The way Dove empowers women to celebrate their own unique beauty has long resonated with me. I have always taken the same approach with my pictures. A photographer has a choice – they can take a picture and make it about themselves by using avant-garde techniques, sometimes capturing the weakness in women, or they can choose to give their picture over to the woman in front of the lens by making her look herself and feel her most powerful.”
“In 2017, the beauty landscape is wildly different to what it was in 2004 when we launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty; however, our commitment to redefining beauty hasn’t changed,” says Dove Global VP, Sophie Galvani. “The women and girls photographed according to the Dove Real Beauty Pledge celebrate true global diversity; each has her own unique beauty story and is a true inspiration for women everywhere. We’ve long admired the work that Testino does and his ability to capture the real beauty in women. We are thrilled to work with him as his status and influence in pop culture makes him a valuable champion in helping to make real and diverse beauty more mainstream.”