Dove inspires India to “Break the Rules of Beauty”


Dove “Break the Rules of Beauty” Campaign

  In a country with 631 million women, 29 states and 22 languages Isn’t it strange that there is just one face of beauty? In our country, new research conducted
by Dove reveals that 76% of Indian women believe, in today’s society, it is critical to meet certain beauty standards. Through a film shot with 85 women across India, Dove’s new campaign, “Let’s Break the Rules of Beauty”, aims to redefine the existing beauty standards and inspires India to embrace its diversity in beauty.

To promote conversations which ultimately have a positive impact on women and girls, Dove’s “The Truth About Beauty” research aims to understand how women today are feeling about self esteem, beauty and how their opinions have evolved over time. While Indian girls and women were found to be more happy with their life compared to the global total, the pressure to comply to Indian beauty ideals still exists with 80% Indian women and 77% Indian girls believing that to do well in life, they need to look a certain way.


Let’s Break the Rules of Beauty

For over 50 years, Dove has been championing real women and focusing on real beauty all over the world. 2016 is India’s year. Dove has taken a closer look at the India of today, and is seeking to address the causes of beauty anxiety in India for women and girls. Despite India’s remarkable diversity of looks, the beauty ideal is still excruciatingly narrow and therefore acts as a tight boundary women are expected to fit within, limiting them from achieving their full potential.
Dove recently launched “Let’s Break The Rules of Beauty”, a campaign that promotes and advocates for a more inclusive Indian beauty ideal that celebrates, and visually showcases, diverse and unique women who break the boundaries when it comes to beauty in India.
Dove through its new campaign invites women to make their own features as celebrated as existing stereotypes. The “Let’s Break the Rules of Beauty” film is shot by Indian film director, screenwriter and documentary maker, Pan Nalin and captures “Real Women” from diverse states in India. Eighty Five women have been filmed in their own avatars celebrating their own idea of beauty.
“Culturally, India is experiencing a real movement towards female empowerment and our research reveals that 67% of Indian women and 64% Indian girls would like to see a more diverse range of beauty represented in the media. Over 50 years we have supported women, all over the world, to see beauty as a source of confidence and not anxiety. With our new campaign on Real Beauty we would like to further encourage conversations on the evolving ideals of beauty in India” said Srirup Mitra, General
Manager – Hindustan Unilever
For centuries we have built an ideal for beauty in India, even the recent cinema is celebrating only a certain type of beauty. Very rarely do we celebrate the diversity of
beauty. What attracted me to this campaign was originality, honesty and of course the opportunity to work with so many women from diverse backgrounds and different cultural heritage
” said Pan Nalin


All Dove campaigns are deeply rooted in research. Dove strives to understand the causes of beauty anxiety everywhere in the world in order to promote conversations which ultimately have a positive impact on women and girls.
Dove conducted a research called ‘The Truth About Real Beauty Research 2015” in seven markets globally. The research aims to understand how women today are feeling about self-esteem, beauty and how their opinions have evolved over time. India was part of this larger global study. 500 Indian women and 300 Indian girls (aged 10-17) were engaged in what is the first Dove study where women and girls have been fielded together, making this the most in-depth study to date. The questionnaire also hosts a number of tested, historical, academic scaled questions, ensuring a level of understanding which is unprecedented and new to the industry.
Some of the highlights that have been found were :
A singular beauty ideal remains dominant.
Pressure to comply to Indian beauty ideals comes from external, traditional and societal factors, with 80% of Indian women and 77% of Indian girls stating they believe that for women to do well in life, they need to look a certain way.


Family pressure for Indian women is high; higher than any other market. Their study found that women are feeling pressure from their family, with 68% stating they feel pressure to take care of their family, while 55% feel pressure to get married and 64% feel pressure to have a family and children.


However, we are seeing a rising awareness of the role of external factors in shaping perceptions of beauty and how this might be challenged.
67% of Indian women and 71% of girls agree very few real women and girls look like the women and girls in adverts, movies, television etc.



Dove “Break the Rules of Beauty” Campaign, Mary Ann, Pan Nalin

Mary Ann, 23, Kolkata

“I’ve always thought that a person who is beautiful is a person who is aware of themselves.” Mary Ann

Both outgoing and courageous, Mary-Anne thrives on exploring new culture and language and has just completed postgraduate studies in sustainable development. As well as her mother tongue, she can speak French and Arabic, and is now learning Hindi and Bengali too.

Mary-Ann is always thinking of new ways to help her local community. She also enjoys painting and photographing the city.

Dove “Break the Rules of Beauty” Campaign, Ektha, Pan Nalin
Ektha, 24, Bangalore  If I turn back and notice you for the second time, I consider you as beautiful. Just the fact that your face stands out in a crowd…that for me is beautiful. Ektha
As confident and expressive young woman, we believe Ektha is a great role model for the young girls of India. Ektha works as a social carer and feels she has landed her dream job. In the future, she’d like to complete a Masters in child psychology and coach or teach young children.
As a self-confessed extrovert, she enjoys being surrounded by loved ones, whom she describes as “her world”.




Dove “Break the Rules of Beauty” Campaign

Join Dove in celebrating “Let’s Break the Rules of Beauty” by watching the film. Share the film together with what #RealBeauty means to you.

Dove has long been committed to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.  Dove hopes to inspire women to develop a positive relationship with beauty, because when women recognize the beauty in themselves, they have powerful ability to positively impact the next generation.

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