In the past few days I have seen several versions of this image circulating with a caption that asks the viewer to pick the campaign they prefer. While I completely agree that it is problematic that so many American women with bodies like the women in the Dove ad believe themselves to be overweight or unattractive, I do not agree with the way these images are being compared. Whoever created this image/caption combo wants you to pick the Dove campaign’s “real beauty” and give yourself a pat on the back for liking “real” women.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the Dove women, I think they all have gorgeous bodies. However, I prefer the women in the Victoria’s Secret image for the simple reason that I am built like them. I do not diet or over exercise, I have never had an eating disorder. I am naturally tall and slender and I am perfectly healthy this way. I love my body, yet I am frequently surrounded by media that claims no “real” woman is built the way I am.
How is insisting that women only come size 10 and up any better than women who starve themselves to make it into a 00? Every body is different and to declare that there is a correct way for a woman to look is wrong. In my eyes the women in both these campaigns are beautiful and healthy looking and should not have their bodies criticized by anyone. Every woman is a real woman, regardless of her weight, breast size, amount of curves, or height.