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Why Vitiligans resonated with Dove’s #ShowUs Project

Image Courtesy: Dove and Getty Images

Some time back, Dove came up with the ‘My Beauty My Say’ campaign, which featured women who stand up for their own beauty and redefine what is perceived “beautiful”. Though the campaign did not feature any girl with vitiligo, its meaning spoke straight to the hearts of those living with vitiligo. After the success of ‘My Beauty My Say’, Dove encouraged more women to break away from traditional beauty standards with another campaign – #ShowUs. Thankfully, this time, the brand’s new inclusivity campaign featured numerous women with vitiligo from different nationalities and professions.

Why we needed a campaign like #ShowUs

Optimists would argue that we are rapidly moving toward a more inclusive world. But, sadly that’s not true. At least, that’s what statistics reveal. About 70% of women do not feel represented in advertising and media. That’s why celebrating an inclusivity project like #ShowUs is tremendously important.

Just like a few other fashion and cosmetic brands, Dove, too, has embraced vitiligo friendly advertising and skin positivity. In order to challenge the society’s beauty norms, the personal care brand led a 5,000-image initiative in partnership with Getty Images (the world’s leading creators and distributors of imagery) and Girlgaze (a digital photography company). The campaign was hosted on GettyImages.com, featuring the beauty of 179 women from 39 countries.

The initiative liberated plus-size women, trans-women, and women with vitiligo from narrow beauty ideals. For us, outsiders, it was refreshing as well as empowering to see real people in the media. With more diversified images like this, we can finally envision a more inclusive vision of beauty to all media and advertisers.

How was #ShowUs different than any other brand marketing campaign?
With a well-intended collaboration with Getty Images and Girlgaze, Dove was able to put across the world’s largest photo library, created by women to shatter beauty stereotypes. #ShowUs touched a chord with women because:

  • The project was 100% powered by women, in front of and behind the camera.
  • All images had True-to-life depictions, not staged sets.
  • No digital distortion was allowed to show the world unfiltered beauty.
  • Every woman had the decision making power to device how she wants to be seen.

#ShowUs on World Vitiligo Day

On the occasion of World Vitiligo Day 2019, Dove’s social media handles published the stories of strong women with vitiligo with hashtag #ShowUs. These women included Beatriz (a Brazilian psychologist student), Renata Cadilhe (a model from Rio de Janeiro), Marie Lenander (a Danish Archaeologist), Zenazi (a South African Musician) and Nuria Torrente (a glass jewelry artist from Barcelona). “Reminding us that beauty can be whatever we want it to be, they’re redefining the ideal of ‘perfect skin’ and inspiring others to love themselves too,” personal care brand praised these vitiligo beauties in the caption.

#ShowUs more women like you

Throughout its run, Zenazi and Beatriz, both beautiful girls with vitiligo, have become the face of #ShowUs campaign in print and digital media. If you want to help expand the definition of beauty, you can still share your image to become part of Project #ShowUs.

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