Dove launches body confidence campaign across social media

Dove has launched a new campaign that aims to encourage people to put healthy living above appearance and promote positive body image.

Dove's first 'campaign for real beauty' kicked off in 2004
Dove's first 'campaign for real beauty' kicked off in 2004

The beauty brand has teamed up with a number charities, trade associations and businesses to launch 'Be Real: Body Confidence for Everyone'.

The campaign kicks off today and aims to unite schools, businesses, charities, public bodies and individuals to "help change attitudes towards body image and help people put health above appearance".

It has been developed in response to a 2012 report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Body Image, which found that low body confidence damages lives and coincides with the first ever Body Confidence Week. It is supported by bareMinerals, Debenhams, Facebook, New Look, Superdrug and YMCA, among others.

Dove will support Be Real, which has a social media marketing campaign, by garnering and sharing best practice and resources, raising awareness and piloting programmes in partnership with schools, early-years providers and out-of-school groups to "ensure the right information and resources are available to help build body confidence," it said.

According to Dove, 16m people currently feel depressed due to how they look, more than one in seven people have considered cosmetic interventions and one in four say they have avoided speaking out at school or in a meeting due to body issues.

The campaign aims to reverse the pressure of "trying to achieve an unrealistic ‘ideal body’" by ensuring young people are educated about body confidence from an early age, promoting living and wellbeing over weight loss and appearance, and encouraging the media, business and advertisers to recognise diversity and "positively reflect" what we people really look like.

Mark Bleathman, VP brand building at Unilever, said: "At Dove, we are committed to building a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Through the work of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, we create educational resources for young people to help inspire them to feel good about their appearance and to reach their potential in life.

"Working with the Be Real Campaign, we will continue to champion a broader, more inclusive definition of beauty," he added.

Caroline Nokes MP, chair of the APPG for Body Image, said: "Low body confidence is a critical public health issue that we cannot ignore. It affects everyone – all ages, both sexes – and starts as young as five years old. Be Real wants to change attitudes to body image, and help all of us, whatever our size, ethnicity or ability, to put health above appearance and be confident with how we look and feel."

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