Site Title

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty




ED Related Page(s)

Dove Self-Esteem Fund


Girls Only


Moms & Mentors




The Real Beauty School (downloadable resource)


Curriculum Links



Publication Year


Content Description:


On this site, Dove’s mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day by widening stereotypical views of beauty. Dove presents ads promoting Dove products free of beauty stereotypes with confidence-building messages that embrace all definitions of beauty.


The brand’s commitment to the mission starts with using real women, (not professional models) of various ages, shapes and sizes to provoke discussion and debate about today’s typecast beauty images. Employing various communication vehicles including advertising, a Web site, billboards, events, a Self-Esteem Fund and more – the campaign invites women to join in a discussion about beauty and share their views with women around the world.


Listening to Women:

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was inspired by a major global study – The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report. The study validated the hypothesis that the definition of beauty had become limiting and unattainable, as if only thin, young and blond were beautiful.


Dove found the current, narrow definition of beauty was having a profound affect on the self-esteem of women:

- Only 2% of women around the world describe themselves as beautiful

- Two thirds of women strongly agree that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve”


Debunking Stereotypes:

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was created to provoke discussion and encourage debate.  Based on the global study findings, Dove started a series of communication campaigns to challenge beauty stereotypes and invite women to join in a discussion about beauty.


The campaign launched in September 2004 with a much-talked-about ad campaign featuring real women whose appearances are outside the stereotypical norms of beauty.  The ads asked viewers to judge the women’s looks (Fat? Fab? or Withered? Wonderful?) and invited them to cast their votes at


In June 2005, Dove kicked off the second phase of the Campaign for Real Beauty with advertising featuring six real women with real bodies and real curves. This phase of the campaign was created to debunk the stereotype that only thin is beautiful and it once again drove thousands of women to to discuss beauty issues.


Continuing its ongoing commitment to widen the narrow definition of beauty, Dove launched the third phase of the Campaign for Real Beauty in February 2007. The Dove global study, “Beauty Comes of Age,” revealed 91% of women ages 50-64 believe it is time for society to change its views about women and aging. pro-age boldly challenges the “only young-is-beautiful” stereotype. The campaign celebrates the essence of women 50+ – wrinkles, age spots, grey hair and all. It was brought to life through a communications campaign created with internationally renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz.


The Campaign for Real Beauty is currently focused on how girls today are bombarded with unrealistic, unattainable messages and images of beauty that impact their self-esteem. Dove has teamed up with the entertainment industry to provide girls with a reality check on what is real vs. Hollywood magic by hosting self-esteem workshops and providing new online self-esteem tools for moms and girls. The campaign was developed to help girls realize what they see in movies and magazines represents an unrealistic standard of beauty, not an everyday achievable look. As part of this effort, Dove also released ‘Onslaught,’ an online film dramatizing the barrage of beauty images girl face.


The Campaign for Real Beauty site,, houses a variety of tools for improving self-esteem in girls.  Visitors can access new self-esteem building tools, take part in interactive self-esteem activities and join self-esteem discussion boards.


They can also learn how to lead self-esteem workshops and read articles by leading self-esteem experts (e.g. Lisa Naylor).


5 Tips to Build Self Esteem




Dove Self-Esteem Fund


The current focus of the Campaign for Real Beauty is aimed at raising the self-esteem of girls and young women through the Dove Self-Esteem Fund.  In Canada, the Fund supports NEDIC the National Eating Disorder Information Center, and ANEB, an eating disorders organization in Quebec. Additionally, the Dove Self-Esteem Fund is providing materials to conduct self-esteem building workshops and new online tools in an effort to educate moms, mentors and girls.



Girls Only


This page features interactive quizzes on topics such as:

  • How Do You Feel About Yourself?
  • Body Facts and Fiction
  • How Do You Impact Others’ Self Esteem
  • Image Manipulation
  • Are You Media Smart?
  • Fashion Confidential


“Onslaught, a new viral film can also be accessed from this page, which dramatically depicts the constant barrage of beauty images that girls absorb every day through the media



This site also offers a page for Moms & Mentors


And, for Educators


The Real Beauty School


Curriculum Links


This program is available as a booklet and downloadable from the website. It is designed for educators to help youth to understand and deal with feelings about their physical appearance while learning about how the “ideal” beauty image is created.



Girls and women of all ages.



English and French (Canadian site)


Author Affiliations

Unilever Canada


The Real Beauty School program was developed by the Eating Disorders Association and tested with over 1,000 teachers and

students. Further input has come from Dr. Susie Orbach, (Psychotherapist, LSE), Dr. Nancy Etcoff (Psychologist, Harvard University) and the Girl Scouts of the USA.