Dove's latest ad talks about India's flawed matchmaking process and the impact it has on women's self-esteem and body confidence
Dove has launched yet another campaign questioning 'beauty standards' Dove India
5 Real Girls, 5 Real Stories of ‘the Marriage Beauty Test’

Dove's latest ad talks about India's flawed matchmaking process and the impact it has on women's self-esteem and body confidence

5 Real Girls, 5 Real Stories of ‘the Marriage Beauty Test’
  • To those who put women through this beauty test during the matchmaking process, Dove asks how much beauty is enough.
  • Conceptualised by Ogilvy India, the ad urges you to look for the beauty, not the flaws!
Dove’s latest film walks us through hard-hitting, real stories of beauty-based judgement and rejection faced by women during the matchmaking process, and the impact this has on their self-esteem.

India's Beauty Test

The search for beauty can often be ugly and diminishing. A recently conducted “India’s Beauty Test (2020) Report” reveals some unsettling statistics about the pressures and anxieties around conforming to a narrow ideal of beauty in the run-up to arranged marriage. An alarming 9 out of 10 single women in India feel that they are judged and rejected based on their looks during the marriage process. Furthermore, 68% claimed that rejections based on beauty during the arranged marriage process impacted their self-esteem and confidence.

Dove’s #StopTheBeautyTest, a film born out of conversations with women from across the country, captures some raw situations where women are judged during the matchmaking process for not being beautiful enough. It goes on to emphasize the unspoken impact of these judgements on their self-esteem and body confidence.

Through real stories enacted by real women, Dove sends out a powerful message – We must stop putting women through this unjust beauty test. Dove wants to start and sustain this important conversation now.

The need for systemic change

Acting upon this, Priya Nair, Executive Director, HUL & VP – Beauty and Personal Care South Asia opined, “In a country of 631 million women, it is unfortunate that there is such intense pressure to adhere to one definition of beauty. As owners of some of the largest beauty brands in the country, the onus to make beauty more positive and more inclusive is on us. Dove has always believed that beauty should be source of confidence, not anxiety. With #StopTheBeautyTest, we want to go one step forward in that direction.”

Supporting the campaign objective, Dove is partnering with leading matrimonial platforms, based on the shared belief that the matchmaking process should be free of beauty biases. Dove and Shaadi.com have also come together to encourage users on the platform to look beyond body type, complexion, scars on face or hair type and length, to see new sizes and shades of beautiful.

In addition, Dove will also help rewrite matrimonial ads free of beauty biases to drive significant change in this direction. To foster change with media, Dove will partner with leading women magazines in India, to celebrate the beauty of women who were not seen as beautiful enough in the run-up to marriage. In an exclusive partnership with UNICEF, the Dove self-esteem project aims to reach 6.25 million girls and boys in schools by 2024 to improve their knowledge and skills so that they enhance their body confidence and self-esteem through education materials to realize their full potential in India.*

This comes in conjunction with Hindustan Unilever’s overarching effort to evolve the definition of beauty across its portfolio of brands. The campaign is a progressive step of a larger change that HUL and Dove intend to herald.