By Samantha Argento

This idea of identity relates to The Dove Real Beauty Campaign that contains a viral ad which focuses on the beauty and identity of women. This campaign incorporates how others look at their beauty, compared to how they view themselves. By advertising this idea of real beauty, women begin to redefine themselves as naturally beautiful, instead of overweight and unattractive. Instead of showing photo shopped ads full of young, skinny, makeup covered models, Dove incorporated natural, normal, everyday women into their advertisements. Since this approach was so different and well executed, these videos went viral and were a complete success. This campaign reframed women’s identity by showing a woman’s true self. In the advertisement “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” an artist first asked women to describe their face to him as he sketched it without looking at them. The artist then asked the women to describe a face of a woman they met earlier that day. When the women described themselves, the sketch of their face looked sad, depressed, and overweight, but coming from someone else’s point of view the sketch of their face looked happier, skinnier and prettier.

The Social Identity Theory by Henri Trajfel and John Turner is described as “the portion of an individual’s self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group.” Social identity is a way to explain intergroup behavior and the way individuals view themselves compared to others who have similar characteristics. So why is this significant?

Commercials in particular affect the way we feel about ourselves due to how the media portrays the way we “should” look and behave. By exposing ourselves to technology like television and the internet for example, self esteem is lowered when advertisements show pretty, beautiful flawless women. Not only does this relate to the discussion of identity, but it also relates to gender and feminism issues as well. Having a sense of identity, knowing who you are, and being your own person is crucial to happiness and fulfillment in life as a human. Our identity is truly our own and it should be one that we each love and accept.

Dove’s advertisement for real beauty portrayed this idea of identity well and are significant to the Social Identity Theory because by advertising the importance of real beauty and self expression Dove helped improve the self-esteem of women of all ages, sizes, races, backgrounds, and ethnicities.


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