Dove and Marsai Martin Want You to Embrace Your Real Beauty

Over the past two decades, Dove has been committed to redefining beauty standards and promoting authenticity. With the rise of AI and photo editing apps, people can quickly mask their insecurities with just a download. EBONY March 2022 cover star Marsai Martin has teamed up with Dove to spread the word about their commitment to fight back against AI.

“Real beauty is coming into the world as your unapologetic, authentic self, meaning going outside, finding the things that you truly like and that you’re into and connecting with people and gradually growing from there. I believe that is the real essence of beauty, you know, and that’s not just outwardly that’s internal,” said Martin.

We all grew up seeing or using Dove products in our households, grandparent’s households or extended family’s houses. What started as a simple bar of soap you could hold in your palm grew into hundreds of products, from lotion and shampoo to body scrubs. Their products have always worked well on our skin.

The brand’s pioneering efforts, starting with the revelation that only 2% of women globally saw themselves as beautiful in 2004, have paved the way for challenging societal norms, media portrayals and the beauty industry’s practices. This dedication has led to initiatives like the 2024 Real State of Beauty global report, which reveals women’s ongoing struggles in meeting unrealistic beauty ideals, exacerbated by societal pressures and the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in beauty content.

Despite progress in inclusivity across race, orientation, gender and size, Dove’s research highlights the growing checklist of appearance ideals that women feel pressured to meet. The pervasive influence of AI-generated content online further complicates these challenges, with many women feeling compelled to alter their appearance based on digitally altered representations. Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs emphasizes the urgent need for representation and transparency in content creation, especially as AI technology blurs the lines between real and manufactured beauty.

When asked about working with Dove on this initiative, Martin said, “First and foremost, any brand that connects with authenticity, growth, and being grounded in who you truly are is something that I will always stand for. If you believe in that too, then yes, count me in! I applaud how this brand, in particular, is truly showing what it’s like for all of us to connect and talk about what beauty means to us.”

In response to these complex issues, Dove’s mission is to promote real beauty, champion diversity, and combat toxic beauty standards. The brand’s commitment to transparency includes the decision never to use AI instead of real people in its advertising, setting new standards for digital representation. Through initiatives like the Real Beauty Prompt Guidelines and campaigns like The Code, Dove continues to empower women to define beauty on their terms and advocate for a world where beauty is a source of confidence and joy, not anxiety. Hopefully, this will influence more brands to inspire their customers to embrace their beauty.

“Any brand that shows realism is always a plus. You know, I feel like we live in a world where everybody tries to curate something that isn’t true, or I mean, using AI. Yeah. And it’s becoming more and more normal. I feel like if we can all have events like this and be in rooms where we go back to what truly makes sense, yeah, what matters in humanity, I feel like every brand would follow suit.”

Updated: April 17, 2024 — 3:02 pm