Dove has teamed up with Twitter in a partnership for social change in attempt to reduce body image negativity on social media. Last year, nearly 5 million tweets were sent out containing negative body image messages. By pairing up with Twitter, Dove hopes to live out its mission of promoting “a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety” over social media.
The kickoff of the #SpeakBeautiful campaign was during the Oscars’ red carpet, a place where body image negativity and judgment thrives. Television reports and broadcasts often focus on beauty, fashion and the best dressed. Twitter and other forms of social media often take to sending negative and nasty tweets, such as “What is she wearing?!” “Not a fan of the bold, red lip,” and “She’s too fat for that dress.” During the Oscars, Dove encouraged Twitter users to tweet positive messages and to #SpeakBeautiful.
This campaign adds to the other body image positivity campaigns, but by teaming up with Twitter, Dove received a massive response. More than 51,000 tweets were sent using #SpeakBeautiful within five days of the Oscars.
Despite this positive campaign, there has been much criticism of #SpeakBeautiful and Dove itself. The campaign is viewed by some as a marketing ploy to advertise Dove’s products free of cost via social media user interaction.
Criticisms have amassed previously against the massive Unilever corporation, owners of brands such as Vaseline, St. Ives, Country Crock, Caress and more. The most notable and criticized brands are Dove and Axe with their contradictory advertisement and social media campaigns.
Axe’s highly sexual commercials counteract Dove’s campaigns of body acceptance and health. This makes aware consumers question the sincerity of the Dove campaigns and their mission statement.
Despite these criticisms, the #SpeakBeautiful campaign has received tremendous feedback and interaction, especially among women.
Yes, this is a marketing strategy. However, I feel many would agree that sending positive messages via social media and everyday life is a good thing. This campaign has started a conversational about the abundance of negative body image messages in social media. Will this end all negativity? Of course not. But I don’t see anything wrong with sending out a little bit of love, whether that be through the #SpeakBeautiful campaign or not.
Collegian Interactive News Team member Kathleen Keaveny can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @katkeaveny.