The beauty industry, which is now worth $7.5 billion thrives on the very fact that there is a constant need for women to look good and be “perfect.”
It is expected that the beauty industry will expand from an approximate $21.7 billion to $29.2 billion by 2025, thriving on nothing but our insecurities.
Right from the moment that we start speaking to our very last breath, women are taught to not feel good about themselves, and always aspire to be more beautiful or fairer or taller or thinner.
The pressure to look like the “ideal” type is at its heights when a woman attains the marriageable age and the matchmaking process knocks her confidence out of the window.
The ‘Indian Beauty Test’
The ‘India Beauty Test’ was an independent survey commissioned by Dove and conducted by Hansa Research in December 2020.
1057 women between the age group of 18-35 were interviewed from 17 cities across India through an online questionnaire. The sample was a representative of the population of women and girls in each city in terms of age, religion, and social grade.
The report revealed unsettling statistics about the pressures and anxieties around conforming to a narrow ideal of beauty in the run-up to an arranged marriage.
An alarming 9 out of 10 single women in India feel that they are judged and rejected based on their looks during the process of marriage. Furthermore, 68% claimed that rejections based on beauty during the arranged marriage process impacted their self-esteem and confidence.
The Need to Change
Upon the outcome of the report, Priya Nair, Executive Director, HUL and VP, Beauty and Personal Care South Asia, said,
“In a country of 631 million women, it is unfortunate that there is such intense pressure to adhere to one definition of beauty. As owners of some of the largest beauty brands in the country, the onus to make beauty more positive and more inclusive is on us. Dove has always believed that beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety. With #StopTheBeautyTest, we want to go one step forward in that direction.”
Dove is partnering with leading matrimonial platforms, like Shaadi.com, to assert that the matchmaking process should be beyond beauty biases to support the objective of the campaign.
Furthermore, Dove will help rewrite matrimonial ads free of beauty biases to drive significant change in this direction.
Dove will also act as a catalyst of change for the stringent beauty standards in the media by partnering with leading women’s magazines in India.
The Dove Self-Esteem Project, in an exclusive partnership with UNICEF, aims to reach 8 million girls and boys in schools by 2024 to help them improve their body confidence and self-esteem by educating them to overcome their body issues.
The campaign #StopTheBeautyTest created by Ogilvy is a progressive step within a larger change that Hindustan Unilever heralds to bring about.
The advertisement captures raw situations where women are judged during the matchmaking process for their beauty. It emphasizes the unspoken impact of these judgments on their self-esteem and body confidence.
Through real stories enacted by women who experienced them, Dove sends out a powerful message.
It’s time we stop putting women through this unjust beauty test.
What did you think of the campaign? Do you think it will become a beacon of change? Let us know your opinion about the same in the comment section!
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