Saturday, December 29, 2007

Consumer companies sell self esteem to women

I told you I was skeptical about big consumer corporations like Unilever and Proctor and Gamble promoting self esteem to women. Why? Check this out:

Corporations exist to make money, period. And smart advertisers know how to capitalize on zeitgeist. Today it is in vogue to talk about real beauty and women loving themselves. You know I am down with that. But I am wary of companies that want to "sell" my self esteem back to me, while inferring that my "real" beauty is dependent on a bar of soap, cellulite-smoothing lotion, make up, perm relaxer or shampoo.

Michelle Gillett said it best in a Boston Globe op-ed:

"Unilever is in the business of selling products, not values, and that
means we, the consumers, are being manipulated, no matter how socially
responsible an ad seems." SOURCE

UPDATE: Mes Deaux Cents alerted me that Unilever also sells skin-lightening creme to women in India and Africa. Check out this sickening ad below for Fair & Lovely. (Sorry that the blog has been so video heavy this week, but some stuff you just have to see to believe.)

UPDATE #2: File this under great minds think alike. Check out What Los Angelista had to say about this subject back in October:


Mes Deux Cents said...


Isn't Unilever the same company that sells skin-lightening creme in India and on the African contentent?

All they care about is getting our money.

But I must admit I love Dove soap.

Tami said...

I didn't know that, MDC, so I checked it out. Wow! I added one of Unilever's Fair and Lovely ads to the post. It is absolutely mind-bogglingly offensive.

Thank you for the tip.

SheCodes said...

Yeah, I had a discussion last week about Proctor & Gamble's 'My black is beautiful' campaign. I think that it's a huge opportunity for us to call them on their hypocrisy. They are hosting some sort of 'meeting' to discuss the image of the black woman.

Shame on us if we don't take them up on their offer to tell them what we REALLY think about them.

Tami said...


I'm going to look into this meeting sponsored by P&G. If you have any details, let me know.

g-e-m2001 said...

Yeah Shecodes where is this meeting?

I have SOOO got to put up that skin lightening creme commercial.

Liz said...

I so feel you about the subject. It still bugs me. I wrote about Dove and skin lighteners back at the beginning of October. Including the link in case you want to go check out what I wrote. :)

Tami said...

Hey, Liz. I added a link to your post on my post.

Every time I see a new one of those skin lightening commercials, I get madder and madder. I notice that in a few of these things they infer that good fathers should encourage their dark daughters to lighten their skin. Sick, sick, sick! said...

They only sell what we buy. You cant blame them for selling, blame the women buying the product. They need education into what self-esteem is and how beauty product have nothing to do with self-esteem. They want to feel better aboiut themselves and also look better. There really are 2 separate things here. Maybe they are just confused.


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