Keep marketing body positivity for women

The Always company aired a commercial during the Super Bowl aimed to empower women.

by Destanie Martin-Johnson

During the Super Bowl, as always, a company selling some feminine product runs a commercial that doesn’t actually advertise any of its products. Instead, it sells confidence to young girls.

One such ad this year showed several teenagers, both girls and boys, in front of a camera.

Each of them is asked, “What does it mean to run like a girl?” The teens run around frivolously while acting tired or making gasping sounds.

The next scene shows younger girls, who are told to do the same task.

The girls run as fast as they can. It’s clear that they’re giving their whole effort, while the aforementioned teens seemed to be only half-heartedly running, seemingly mocking girls’ abilities. The ad then shows messages about how the confidence of most girls plummets during puberty.

The point is that it’s great that the company Always played this ad during an event that glorifies hyper-masculinity as much as the Super Bowl does.

When the football game cut to advertisements, Super Bowl viewers suddenly found themselves watching a feminist commercial that encouraged people to “rewrite the rules” of gender stereotypes.

Dove, a company for bath soaps and other hygiene products, did a similar campaign in 2005 when it challenged what society considers being plus-sized as a woman to show that “real women are beautiful, too.”

The ad received a lot of praise from women who struggle with self-image issues. It also got some criticism that the women in the ad were too large.

However, the company’s managing partner, Deb Boyda, dismissed the critics and said that Dove wanted to send positive messages about being healthy and being yourself.

Since the Dove commercial aired, despite its criticism, other companies have decided to go more “natural” in their ads for women’s clothing.

American Eagle announced in 2014 that its line of lingerie will not feature altered models. Instead, it gave women the opportunity to upload a natural, untouched picture of themselves to be featured in the ads.

These campaigns can only improve women’s confidence, while also challenging the ideal of the “perfect woman.”

It shows that the image of a thin woman wearing a lot of makeup doesn’t reflect what most women really are.

Although the ads are still focused on appearance and how it influences a woman’s confidence, they still are much more encouraging than the typical model ads.

Ultimately, every one of us women should recognize that our worth is measured in more than just our looks, despite how much of the media — especially during large sporting events — portrays us.

Positive ads like Dove’s are a start in moving in the right direction. Real, everyday women are beautiful and should be confident in who they are, regardless of what society expects of us.