Past Event

Café Society: Beauty or Beast? Does the "Average Woman" Have a Place on a Billboard?

Images are powerful tools in the world of advertising. Much about our culture and us as individuals is revealed by the response they elicit. The controversy generated from the latest campaign for a new product by Dove reminds us of how our society is reflected, revealed and influenced by advertising.

The focus of the commentary is over the images of the women featured: they are all “average-sized”. In recent years, the advertising industry has experienced criticism for perpetuating an unattainable standard of beauty and has been faulted for contributing to low-self esteem and eating disorders.

Many women have applauded this campaign where the models look more like reflections of themselves. Conversely, several people have voiced opinions in opposition to the ads. Some expressed absolute disgust and others pledged never to purchase a product that would make them feel “average”.

Should companies use images that accurately reflect the nation’s populace in terms of race, age, and weight? Should corporations be held responsible for their psycho-social affect or be measured by their contribution to the social good?

Is this ad a real departure from the beauty ideal? What does the widely-published, violent backlash against this one ad say about our culture? Is there something deeper at work here?

Join us this week to tell us whether Dove makes you cry.

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For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.