New Dove Film

I have what I'll charitably call mixed feelings about Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign (and similar campaigns), especially given that Dove is owned by Unilever, which also owns the Axe brand—the virulently misogynist commercials for which have the capacity to arouse within me a searing disdain. And, true to form, Dove's latest outing is a mixed bag:

I love the very last bit: "What lovely people. What lovely people." But we'll come back to that.

And naturally the whole can't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover message is always a good one, if trite (and vaguely hypocritical when delivered by a company hawking beauty products). But the construct for delivering that message strikes me a little bit like the films I call Deathbed Confession Cinema, in which you get to laugh at fat jokes (or ethnic jokes or gay jokes or how dumb bitches are, etc.) for two hours before a heavy-handed dénouement in which a childish moral of the story—"X" are people who are deserving of love and respect, too!—is tacked on to hastily absolve both filmmakers and audience their production and enjoyment of the preceding onslaught of mockery. (See here and here.)

In this case, I was left cringing by the framework in which women are made to judge other women based on their appearance (which uncomfortably feeds into the stereotype about women being catty and judgmental of one another) only to be followed by the reversal in which women reveal something about themselves that defies expectations.

(IMO, the piece would be more powerful if the moving, silent images of the women were shown without commentary, followed by the footage of the women talking, which would certainly undercut conclusions the viewer had drawn on hir own, culminating in the same: "What lovely people. What lovely people.")

Complicating the narrative is that the video is called "Intuition." The only way I understand that title relating to the video is if the point was to suggest that the proverbial women's intuition sucks.

Anyway, what do you think?

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