Vying for the minds of our girls

Here is another brilliant short video by Dove and a follow-up to the Evolution video (see my post of March 17 – Seeing on multiple levels.) My apologies to you if any images offend, but this so acutely points out the bombardment coming at our girls/young women – my college age daughters found it very compelling and truthful. Those of you who are old enough to remember it will be struck by the music used at the beginning of the video – the opening tune is obviously inspired by the Rolling Stones 60’s song “Here comes your 19th nervous breakdown.” Comments posted relating to the video raise excellent questions around whether Dove is making a great statement of truth about our cultural values or whether this is just all part of a bigger campaign to increase their “brand” recognition. Unilever, the larger parent corporation of Dove also runs ads by Axe which are 180 degrees in the other direction in terms of presenting inappropriate male views of women as sexual objects. The complexity of the issues involved in this short video and the questions just mentioned compel us as Christian educators in schools and churches to move beyond simple, moralistic answers in challenging our students to apply their faith.


Filed under Biblical worldview, image of God, kids/culture

18 responses to “Vying for the minds of our girls

  1. Great Video! I shared it with several of my teacher girl friends and both of my daughters. Troubling and yet helpful.

  2. Meagan Scartozzi

    This is an interesting ad because of the the fact that Dove also works with Axe who has ads that are the complete opposite. Both products do well because of the types of advertisement it does and how it reaches out to its audience. What I can’t understand is why young girls and women let the media influence their thoughts and beliefs. Girls grow up thinking of this image of a perfect body that they have to have and obtain making them willing to do anything to get this body. Dove’s advertisement is trying to pick women up from their self esteem issues and letting women out there know that they do not have to abide by societies ‘norms’ by telling parents to talk to their young daughters about this and the sooner the better. This is just as important as the talks parents have with their children about not using drugs, drinking, or smoking. Being proactive is very important in children’s lives.

  3. Maddy Manden

    I think this was a very good video. The message is very true. It is sad really all of the precautions parents have to take in order for their little girls to not be so self-conscience about themselves. There are advertisements everywhere you look implying that you can look better so change yourself. As educators we need to be good examples of being proud of what we look like. We also need to encourage our students, especially girls, which they look good just the way they are.

  4. Sara Cease

    I had no idea that Axe and Dove are part of the same company. Their ads are completely different and it seems that they are trying to reach completely different audiences and may even stand for totally different things. I think that this video from Dove is so important because that it was both men and women see everyday in the media. I have been impressed with this real beauty campaign since it started, and I am glad to see that it is still going strong. I think that it is sad that this negative view of women are a part of life. For me personally, I know the media has affected the way I view beauty and what the “perfect” body is. It is hard to not get sucked into that. Talking to young women about this issue is extremely important. I think that this is a good positive start in order to change peoples minds. I definitely need to watch more of the Dove videos and I will be sharing them with other women.

  5. Ashley Biesboer

    When I first viewed this video, I was moved by the images and how it rings true to our society. From the youngest age, girls are influenced by ads that encourage being skinny, well-dressed, sexy, and wanted. Advertisements rarely capture women how they really are: all those things just maybe in different forms. Media puts WAY too much of an emphasis on how women should look and act and I like that Dove strays away from that. As long as they promote different kinds of beauty, I don’t care if they’re also encouraging use of their brand. It does make me wonder, though, how they can turn around and try and sell males as a sexual object with their Axe advertisements. That makes me think they really only do care about their name, or that they see women as being more attacked (or more easily influencd)and therefore needing more encouragement to be beautiful in their own original ways.

  6. Michelle Beenes

    Aaargh!!! I understand and I’ve been there. Every single girl that I know has been through at least some form of disliking their own appearance, some to dangerous extremes.
    This brings us to our main problem– that it really is a vicious cycle because how can women find men to date and marry that will value them for something more than their outward appearance? These men have also been bombarded with adds, though these teach them (though of couse in subliminal ways) to see women as nothing more than things to be oggled at and used for sex. The adds work with each other to achieve exactly what the Dove revolution video is talking about– women and girls need to value themselves and try their best to ignore the onslaught of media suggestions and insinuations.
    Also, even when a woman is single, she still needs to value herself and her own appearance for what it is. I love Dove for doing this, though it will be interesting to see exactly what comes of this “revolution”.

  7. Marisol Miron

    When I saw this video, I was literally heartbroken, to say the least. I have realized over time that the media is being used to attack individuals at very young ages. Women are being told that they are ugly and fat while men are being told that they have to be muscular and aggressive. I went back and saw the “Evolution” video and I was saddened to see how the media transforms what people are supposed to look like so that everyone strives to become the ideal. I agree with Ashley in that ALL women are all of those good things in different forms– I am sick and tired of seeing girls my age and even younger that are killing themselves because they want to look different. I believe that we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that there are reasons that we all look different from each other. I know individuals that cannot go without seeing shows like “America’s Next Top Model” yet they wonder later on why they can’t look into the mirror without hating what they see. I can personally admit that I have been influenced by the media, but I realize that I do not need any “assistance” from shows, advertisements, and other mediums used to spread the news that basically nobody looks right. I pray that parents are more aware of what is going on with their children, as it seems to worsen from year to year. Also, as a future educator, I see it as my duty to encourage my students to be confident in who they are and how they look– because they are unique and special. I think that uniqueness is something that gives people power. If they look like “everyone else,” there will be nothing to make them stand out. Thank you for putting this information out there! =)

  8. Amy Ellena

    The video clip shows what we see everyday but may not even think about it. As children grow up these advertisements are all around them and sending them messages about what women should look like. I am a huge Rolling Stones fan and the song they used makes complete sense. A line in Here Comes Your 19th Nervous Breakdown is “You were still in school when you had that fool who really messed your mind.” This is just what Dove is speaking out about they are encouraging parents to talk to their children and build self-esteem before the media gets to them. When these girls get older and they don’t fit the mold they will make drastic changes and ruin their self-esteem. I agree with the Dove campaigns For Real Beauty as they try to put an image of what real women look like and state the beauty has no age limit.

  9. Cassie Vande Kamp

    Paul writes in Phil. 1:15 that some people preach “Christ out of envy and rivalry.” But he goes on to say that although these motives are impure, “What does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (vs. 18). Granted, I would not be so bold as to say Dove’s message and the Gospel of Christ are on the same playing field (although Dove’s message fits nicely into Biblical principles), I think this Scripture applies. Does Dove send mixed signals in different advertisements (this 180 degree turn)? It would appear so. Is Dove doing this out of an effort to increase their profit margin? Maybe. Regardless of this fact, the message is clear: true inner beauty has nothing to do with weight, size, and image. I stand and applaud Dove for making their campaign for true beauty. Whether out of selfish motives or pure, Dove has spoken and the American women have wholeheartedly responded. Offer us beauty and hope in the form of that which is lovely and glowingly healthy, not that which is unattainable and dauntingly plastic. This is undeniably a step in the right direction.

  10. Christina Jones

    I agree with everyone while some images in this video and disturbing, they are true. Society ,and it seems with Hollywood as a driving force behind it, put so much emphasis on how people look. Whether or not they are thin or and it even seems that to some of Socety that an average size healthy person is overweight now. It is truly heartbreaking, unnecessary and ridiculus that our children, namely girls, have to be brought up with this warped way of thinking. I feel parents and teachers need to be activists for our children and especially as christians portraying that as cliche as it sounds God created us all unique and beautiful and that it is important to live a healthy life and be active but NOT to take that to an extreme. Children need to be children as long as they can.

  11. Angelica Solis

    The millennium generation is said to be the most advanced generation yet, but I find that hard to believe because this video depicts a generation of women that are very insecure with themselves. After watching this video I finally realize that my insecurities are not only being felt by me, but they are also being displayed to a younger generation. This video made me see the world through a child’s eyes and all that they are exposed too. Immediately after watching this video, I decided to watch the other Dove videos that were posted. I found it very shocking that even though women grow older and find love in their in lives they still feel inferior to the world and to all the women around them. This video not only depicts a true image of what young girls see on a daily basis but it also depicts what they think about every second of the day. This must be the day we take our own declaration as women, both young and old, in order to preserve the future of tomorrows young girls.

  12. Charlie Russ

    This video really speaked the truth. Girls face an enormous amount of pressure to always keep a certain kind of look. Every magazine or television show trys to tell girls what they should be looking like. These girls then feel like they have to live up to something that is not realistic. I think this video sends a great message to parents to talk to their girls about having a positive body image. Girls should not feel any pressure to grow up and be something they are not ready to be quite yet. Then they will realize that not everyone has to be like the models shown in the video.

  13. Bethany Zapata

    I think that dove does an amazing job promoting how “real women” should be content in their own body type and not feel the pressure of what the media is telling them to do, how to look, or even how to feel. Women today do feel pressured to look a certain way to weigh a certain amount to have flawless skin. And the reality of it is that all people are beautiful because they were created by God. We are made in his image. Advertisments surround and even overwelm us sometimes and I think the video clearly showed that because even thinking about how short the video was and how many negative advertisments it encompassed speaks for itself.

  14. Leah Pizza

    This video is an excellent reminder of the effects media has in our lives. As future teachers, and future parents it is so important for us to realize this in the lives in the children we will be affecting. At some point in adolesence every child is going to go through a time of searching who they are. But as role models, and mentors to these children it is so important for us to reach out to these kids. Young girls get an image from the media that you have to be skinny, tall, tan, with perfect features and look or best at all times. That is not reality. Those women make up for such a small percentage of women. The outside apperace does not define us at all, and it is our job to make that known to young girls. The media fills young girls minds with a distorted image of women. It is our job to make known to girls the true image of women. I admire Dove for making it known the true image of women. I look forward to seeing what impact this commerical has on society.

  15. Allison DeGroot

    This is a great video; I am so glad that Dove is taking a stand against what society and the media portray as beautiful. Dove is showing the world that women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful by using all different women in their advertisements. It is very important for me as a teacher and as a Christian to show children that we are all made in God’s image. It is important to build up children’s self esteem, especially young girls, even at a young age. This video and other’s like it help get the message out there that you don’t have to look like a model in order to be a successful, beautiful woman. The video encourages parents and adults to talk to children about the issue of body image before the beauty industry does. I completely agree that this issue needs to be addressed at schools and in homes. It is becoming a huge problem for adolescent girls and it should be talked about just as much as sex, alcohol, or any other issue that teens face today. Children need to be valued and encouraged when they are young so that they can stand firm in their beliefs and not be influenced by the media.

  16. Matt Kamien

    Girls should not be influenced by the media. However, we all are influenced to dress or look attractive. We all want to look our best.

  17. Laura Karr

    I really liked this video. It shows how much the media is obsessed with beauty. It is important to speak with your daughters about having an identity in Christ. We are called to be in the world and not of the world. We need to help our children understand that at a young age. It is important for them to know their beauty comes from the inside and they were made in the image of God. We have to protect them, like the clip said, from the sin of the world and the lies from satan.

  18. Ashley Kuiper

    I really liked this video as well. I agree with Michelle about how all need to remember that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of our Lord and Savior. I understand the view of being obsessed with looks however. Every girl wants to look their best…desires to look beautiful in the yes of society and themselves. It’s sad that the media has warped the views of girls of all ages even more. They force them to think that they need to fit into a certain stereotype that has been set up for them while in all reality when God made each individual, He broke the mold. There is nothing wrong with appreciating fashion and health but it is vital to remember that we were all made in authentic beauty of the Lord.

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