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Stop posting that Dove ad: “Real beauty” campaign is not feminist

Unless your Facebook friends are completely pre-occupied right now with Gabrielle Giffords' op-ed and Science Bros, you’ve seen multiple teary re-posts of Dove’s newest “Real Beauty” video this week, in which a forensic sketch artist draws portraits of “real women” without ever seeing them. The artist asks each woman to describe herself, and they all oblige with damning self-criticism like “I kind of have a fat, rounder face” and “I’d say I have a pretty big forehead.” Take-away: Women are our own worst critics!

Except we’re not — at least, not naturally. All of that body image baggage is internalized by growing up in a society that enforces rigid beauty standards, and since the target demographic for this ad is clearly women over 35 with access to library cards (which is to say, women who have had some time to figure this reality out), it is baffling that Dove can continue to garner raves for their pandering, soft-focus fake empowerment ads.

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