Dove is committed to a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Working around this philosophy, the brand has always identified different forms of appearance pressures women face and has designed campaigns that triggered social conversations. The brand’s global research in 2013 reveals that, only 1 in 10 women are proud to disclose their age and most women think they have to be young to be considered beautiful. To give this proposition foreground Dove created a short film, “How Old Are You?” to inspire women to celebrate their beauty at every age. The film shows girls proudly stating their age while women avoiding the question.
Answering the age question makes women focus on the negativity associated with ageing and further fuels anxiety about the way they look. To explore age anxieties, Dove in collaboration with The Daily Star hosted a round table discussion on the 18th of October 2016, with eminent guests from different professions. Bipasha Hayat asserted that age should never define an individual; rather their work should provide a framework to the classification of their character. Sharing her experience Chowdhury Tasneem Hasin (Nutritionist, United Hospital) stated how the anxiety is not only self-built or socially asserted but is also instilled in their upbringing. Fahima Choudhury, Managing Director of Ogilvy & Mather believes that the responsibility falls largely on us to refrain from making anyone feel unrealistic. Adding to that thought, Sara Zaker voiced that to keep the conversations truly active there must also be parallel programs for the men to slander the trigger at its root. The discussion also delved into the rural context where beyond a certain marriageable age, parents have to pay a significant amount of dowry to get the girls married off. Girls mirror their mother’s behaviors about beauty, confidence and self-esteem and it is important that mothers recognize the beauty in themselves at every age to set positive examples for their daughters. In the end everyone agreed that encouraging women and the next generation to develop a positive relationship with beauty can help raise their self-esteem and thereby enable them to realize their full potential.