Is Dove’s “Beauty Patch” Calling Women Stupid?

So normally I’m all about the Dove Real Beauty campaign and all of the advertisements that come along with it. But I have to say, after watching their new ad, “Beauty is a state of mind,” I left more than disappointed.

In my opinion, Dove has always done a fantastic job with helping women to appreciate their unique beauty while simultaneously selling them a line of products to make them more attractive. This is a task that could very easily turn corny, yet until now, it has not. Up until this most recent Dove commercial, I have found the brand’s campaign nothing short of inspirational.

In the ad, women meet with a psychiatrist who prescribes them a “beauty patch” that is claimed to help make women look and feel better about themselves. A beauty patch? Really? Of all the things they could have come up with, they came up with a beauty patch? To me it just seems like Dove got lazy after the crazy amount of applause they received after their previous ad, the Real Beauty Sketches.

What is even more frustrating was the women’s responses to this “miracle patch.” The ad is just so predictable; of course the women involved in the “experiment” feel a thousand times better about themselves, promising to toss aside the crutches of products that claim to reduce the impact of aging and other inevitable forces (Griner, 2014). One woman even claimed in her follow-up appointment that wearing the beauty patch had “definitely been a life-altering experience.” After participants were told that there was actually nothing in the beauty patch, one woman said “knowing that I don’t need something to make me feel that way-that it’s just who I am and it was hidden and now it’s not anymore…that’s very empowering.”

Maybe this is just me, but I found this ad rather insulting to women as a whole. I feel that Dove is basically calling us gullible, that a placebo with the least scientific name ever could actually improve the way women feel about themselves in a matter of weeks.

Griner, D. (2014, April 9). Ad of the Day: Dove’s ‘Beauty Patch’ Seeks to Empower Women by Fooling Them | Adweek. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from

9 thoughts on “Is Dove’s “Beauty Patch” Calling Women Stupid?

  1. If women are not gullible, then what would you call a group of people who willingly buy media published for the specific purpose eliciting discontent within themselves … and then complain that said media causes them to feel discontent?


  2. I personally loved the Dove Real Beauty original campaign but I agree with you that this is definitely a step backwards from that. From a campaign that promoted “natural beauty”, a patch that essentially makes you feel beautiful doesn’t seem too beneficial for their message.


  3. I agree with both comment above. The brand is sending mixed messages and it will result in distrust between brand and consumer.


  4. I find this idea of a “beauty patch” insulting. I think that Dove has done a great job helping women accepting themselves as they are, but the idea of a beauty patch makes it seem like they’re saying that women will always need something help them feel beautiful and that’s sad.


  5. I agree, I think this is quite insulting to women. It makes us appear gullible and too weak to be able to feel strong and beautiful without someone or something giving us that ability and boost to feel better about ourselves. I cannot believe Dove, of all companies, would think such a campaign would reflect well on its viewers and be taken well with women. Most definitely a let down and I hope they work harder to produce a better, more inspirational campaign.


  6. Women/people have been gullible… advertising DOES work, and all to often agains us! I do not find this ad insulting at all, on the contrary: it tells women not to listen to advertisement or anyone to tell them who and how they are; to trust themselves and their own judgment, to love themselves for who they are and don’t need anything external to be beautiful and worthy. I loved it.


  7. I simply think what they tried to communicate is that we all have all it takes to feel good about ourselves. Almost all the time people are so concerned of the opinion of others and other negative baggage and these all together affect our self esteem.
    Tricking their brains into believing that the patch would work actually worked wonders. In my opinion I think it has an empowering message to all women- You are beautiful just the way you are, but you first have to accept it, believe it and live like you know it!
    The placebo was actually what helped them believe what they were feeling. Just find what works for you.If it means saying great things to yourself in front of the mirror, then do, but whatever you do, find joy in loving and appreciating your unique self everyday!


  8. Yes, this was STUPID!

    Every person whose been through school has had the Placebo Effect drilled into them along with the scientific method. Did Dove think that women wouldn’t stop for even one instant and consider that this is total BS!?! Totally unsatisfying to me as a viewer.

    I mean, COME ON!

    How could should a thing even WORK?

    I gotta believe that that the women in this “experiment”, regardless of whatever reasons they had for doing it, didn’t do it because they actually thought the patch was real. Look how exaggerated their appearances are from Weekend@HomeAlone at the beginning to DateNight! at the end as if they had to “prove” that they felt better about themselves. It wouldn’t be hard to pretend you had low self-esteem to get into another of Dove’s “undisclosed documentaries”.

    It would have been better if they just told the women upfront it was fake. Like wearing jewelry with written sentiments on it, just the presence of a physical reminder to act beautiful might go a long way.

    I did enjoy Dove’s transformation video and Beauty Sketches. The latter seemed like the women were told to exaggerate and it was predictable also, but I really LIKED it because I like to draw and it made me think for days how I might describe myself to others.

    Patches has a stupid premise and will have no lasting impact on me.


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