Locating the Bodies of Women and Disability in Definitions of Beauty: An Analysis of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty
Keywords:Feminist-Disability Theory, Physical disability, Advertising, Ideology of Naïve Integrations
Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" aimed to widen cultural understandings of diverse bodies and embodied beauty. In this essay, however, I question the ability of the campaign to confront the limits of our current cultural understandings of embodied beauty and diversity. Drawing on feminist-disability theory, I argue that the campaign represented an ideology of naïve integration. While the acceptance of diverse physical bodies was espoused by the campaign, the textual and visual discourse simultaneously reflected many traditional beauty standards and practices. I draw key examples from the discourse to support my claims that the campaign's discourse (re)inscribed meaning to the normate body and (re)made the body through traditional beauty practices. The subsequent ramifications of societal understandings of the body and the aesthetic value of women with physical disabilities are discussed.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Sarah Heiss