Dove's latest campaign is unintentionally funny and highlights a serious issue.

For years now, the marketing team over at Dove has been working to make their brand's name synonymous with body positivity.

2015's "Choose Beautiful" campaign. GIF from Dove/YouTube.

The company's latest campaign, released in the U.K., tries to address body image issues with ... a more diverse range of bottle shapes? Seriously. Um.


Image from Dove UK/YouTube.

Body positivity and body diversity are serious issues, but the premise behind this campaign is majorly silly, and people wasted no time making jokes at the brand's expense.

Yes, bodies do come in all shapes and sizes, and that's a good thing! Yes, social beauty standards are harmful! But no, adding an additional six bottle shapes to your lineup doesn't really have anything to do with how people actually feel about their bodies. In fact, the whole thing sounds like a bit from a "30 Rock" episode.

Author Mara Wilson compared headlines championing the body wash to something more suited for the satirical feminist site Reductress.

Journalist Rachel Handler poked fun at the bottles' wild disregard for anatomical correctness. (No, this is not a request to make anatomically correct human-plastic bottle hybrids. Please don't.)

And Cosmopolitan's Carina Hsieh provided everyone with enough nightmare fuel to last into the foreseeable future.

There's a real question to be asked about what role brands should (or can) play in building social awareness.

On one hand, brands have a giant platform and can help promote positive messages (see Budweiser's pro-immigration Super Bowl ad or Heineken's recent ad about bridging political divides); on the other, sometimes it just comes off as a craven money grab (see Pepsi). That's the tricky thing about businesses wading into the social-political world: At their core, they're still businesses, and their primary goal will always be to try to make money or sell a product.

Many people have written about the limits of "woke capitalism," and it's definitely a topic on which reasonable people can and do disagree.

There are a lot of great resources on the internet about body positivity and fat acceptance (which you can check out here, here, and here).

Maybe the Dove ad wouldn't have been so bad if it had just made a little more sense.

Nylon magazine's Angela Lashbrook sums the whole thing up pretty well.

There is one thing Dove (and other companies) can do to promote body positivity, and it's super easy.

At other times, Dove has been praised for featuring real women who aren't models in their ads. But really, wouldn't it be great if every brand did that every day?

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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