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
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular