As far as we’re concerned, if anyone’s allowed to repeatedly get up on a soapbox, it’s Dove. Two days ago the advertising powerhouse launched yet another campaign in its crusade to promote diversity and self-esteem by broadening society’s stereotypical definition of beauty, this time honing in on hair.
According to research commissioned by the brand, 86 percent of women in the U.S. believe that media and society put a lot of pressure on women to have hair that looks a certain way, while three in four women believe they would be more confident if they didn’t feel that they were being judged by their locks.
Of all of our natural accessories, hair is our most versatile statement piece. Dove takes issue with the prevalence of rules and norms set forth for women when it comes to styling their tresses — “You shouldn’t have long hair past a certain age, curly hair isn’t professional, short hair isn’t feminine, [and] Asian women shouldn’t have blonde hair,” cites the brand’s press release. In an 86-second spot introducing the #LoveYourHair campaign, six women share their stories of how they’ve encountered — and shrugged off — these ridiculous precepts.
“A friend once told me if I put color back in my hair, it would make me look better,” shares Leecie, one of the women featured. “Stop saying gray hair isn’t beautiful, because it is,” she continues, her silver mane shining in the late afternoon sun.
As always, Dove’s inclusive message (and masterful ad production abilities) touched our hearts and those of the industry experts over at Glamour. Curiosity piqued by Dove’s #LoveYourHair launch, the publication did its own digging with results as encouraging as the campaign itself. Based on Glamour‘s Lipstick Index, a tool that amasses data based on conversations women are having on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, “There’s been steady growth in women talking about natural hair, box braids, [and] rainbow hair.” In a world where slate strands are all the rage and wigs are making a comeback, this trend suggests that we’re all about owning our hair and hair’s capacity for expression.
When we look at magazines, we may feel inadequate knowing we’d need a glam squad to attain that level of polish – but if we did have the funds, we’d be showing our stylist pictures of Zendaya, not googling outdated stock images of “beautiful hair” for inspiration.