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Dove Rebuffs Beauty Ideal with Photo Exhibit


I had a different introduction in mind for this blog -- something more captivating as opposed to the revealing internal dialogue I'm about to share.

"Wow," I thought to myself as I poked at my stomach and hiked up my shorts. "Someone needs to get to the gym."

Now readers, by no means am I obese. In fact, several friends (and a few strangers) have asked if I could train them at the gym. The irony? This blog is about an international photo exhibit tour that aims to redefine beauty with an unveiling at the Toronto Eaton Centre on Friday August 5th. The title? The Real Beauty Photography Exhibit.

As part of Dove Soap's Campaign for Real Beauty (remember those billboards last summer?), the 10-day exhibit will spotlight almost 60 images of beauty as defined by female photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and Julie Moos. I'm humbled by every single one of their subjects.

The female bodybuilder who isn't embarrassed by her quarterback frame. The extreme close up of a woman's mouth, her teeth lined with tracks of metal. The ultra-curvy brunette in fishnets lounging seductively on a couch. None of these women appear to care what anybody thinks of them. None of these women appear to be afflicted by what most people consider flaws.

You can take a look the photos on Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty website before the Real Beauty Photography Exhibit lands here. The site also spotlights past and ongoing beauty campaigns featuring real women. Too bad these inspiring knockouts can't be seen on the magazine stands we walk by several times a day or on the subways ads that seep into our subconscious. Maybe we'd have more young girls running bases at local parks instead of hunting for slimming jeans at La Senza Girl.

Ironically, the beauty of this tour is its accessibility. It will be displayed at hubs that attract a significant number of women: shopping centers. Now that I think of it, this means Dove also gets to snag its target market too. How profitable -- I mean beautiful is that?

After showing at the Toronto Eaton Centre, the Real Beauty Photography Exhibit will continue to Montreal's Carrefour Laval Shopping Centre, Winnipeg's Polo Park Shopping Centre and Calgary's Chinook Centre. For more information visit http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com.

Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth.


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