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

It missed the mark but made for some good laughs.

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?

Family
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular