Reflecting on Two Decades Dove and the Evolution of Authentic Beauty

Unrealistic beauty standards perpetuated by artificial intelligence are poised to dominate the digital landscape. In response, Dove, two decades after launching its groundbreaking Campaign for Real Beauty, pledges to abstain from using AI to portray real women in its advertisements. The prevalence of narrow beauty ideals, as highlighted in Dove’s new Real State of Beauty report, continues to adversely affect women and girls. Despite evolving beauty standards, the pressure to conform to an unattainable image persists.

Statistics reveal alarming trends: a significant portion of women would sacrifice a year of their lives to meet idealized standards, while a vast majority feel compelled to meet criteria such as appearing healthy, slim, and curvaceous with a small waist. This pressure is exacerbated by the proliferation of AI-generated beauty content online, with nearly nine in ten women exposed to harmful imagery and one in three feeling compelled to alter their appearance in response.

As AI-generated content is projected to dominate online platforms by 2025, Dove recognizes the urgent need to safeguard real beauty representation. Hence, the brand commits to eschew AI-generated depictions of women in its advertising campaigns. Additionally, Dove is empowering content creators and brands with the Real Beauty Prompt Playbook, facilitating the creation of diverse and inclusive visual content using popular generative AI tools.

Alessandro Manfredi, Dove’s Chief Marketing Officer, underscores the brand’s commitment to empowering women to define beauty on their own terms, free from algorithmic dictates. The brand’s resolve to champion real beauty extends beyond refraining from AI use, seeking to foster a culture where beauty is a source of joy rather than anxiety for every woman and girl.

Dove’s latest initiative, The Code, invites contemplation on AI’s potential to either perpetuate or challenge societal biases in beauty standards. By showcasing Dove’s transformative journey and commitment to diversity and inclusivity, The Code underscores the brand’s enduring impact. This commitment has not only resonated with consumers but also driven significant sales growth for Dove, alongside educating millions of young people on body confidence through the Dove Self-Esteem Project.

Pau Bartoli, Dove Masterbrand Director, attributes the brand’s continued success to its authentic portrayal of real women and their stories, resonating with consumers globally. Dove remains steadfast in its mission to champion real beauty, delivering campaigns and products that reflect the diverse beauty of women everywhere.

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