Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Why Are Real-Life Beauty Campaigns Not Truly Inclusive?

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 11:59 pm on Monday, May 28, 2007

Glenda Watson Hyatt - a real-life, fiery red-head woman

On today’s show, Oprah kicked off her O Girl, O Beautiful Revolution to celebrate a girl’s beauty regardless of her physical attributes. Similarly, “Every girl deserves to feel beautiful just the way she is,” is the slogan for Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, which includes women of all colours with jiggly bits. These initiatives aim to embrace a broader, healthier view of beauty and to boost self-esteem. Interestingly, neither initiative included girls and women with obvious disabilities. Are we not beautiful?

Our society equates the ability to walk with valued and beauty. A questionable apartment manager once commented to me, “Too bad you can’t walk, you’re pretty.” For that moment, I was thankful I didn’t rely on biped mobility.

Like African-Americans and –Canadians who lighten their skin colour or relax their hair and individuals of Asian descendant who resort to plastic surgery in order to feel beautiful according to Western society’s standard of beauty, people with physical disabilities are often treated or fixed, or wait for a cure, to be more normal, more acceptable, and, thus, more valued.

These real-life beauty campaigns are encouraging and are definitely a needed step in the right direction. But, if we are going to celebrate the beauty of diversity, let’s make the celebration truly inclusive.

Dove, if you need a real life, fiery red-head woman, I am available!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Comment by Karen

May 29, 2007 @ 9:16 am

I agree and I had the same thought when I saw the Dove advertisements. Send your post to the Dove company–they just might hire you!

Comment by Debbie Havusha

May 29, 2007 @ 9:26 am

I hear your message Glenda and see your beauty and feel your disdain and think that our society needs a big time make-over!!!!!
Debbie Havusha

Comment by Darrell

May 29, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

Hi Glenda

There is no doubt you are beutiful inside and out. You will always be a shining light for all to see.


Comment by Jerry

May 29, 2007 @ 7:54 pm

Glenda, I am well acquainted with you, and KNOW just what kind of a beautiful person you are….chair, biped….whatever!

Just keep being YOU!


Comment by Philip

May 30, 2007 @ 10:19 am

Your comments are spot on!

It’s about time people were judged on who they are, not what they look like 🙂

Comment by Jenn Givler

May 31, 2007 @ 6:08 am

I totally agree Glenda. When I first heard about these campaigns, I was excited – I see so many girls trying to live up to an impossible standard – it’s time to stop air-brushing, stop asking models to weight 90 lbs, and stop indirectly making teenage girls feel awful because they too are not a size zero.

This is one reason why I got involved with teaching dance. I want to show teen age girls that they are beautiful for who THEY are.

It took me a long time to be comfortable in my own skin, and to love myself… quirks and all 😉

I want to live in a world where beauty has no set definition – where we can all feel beautiful, confident, and wonderful – in our own skin.

Impossible dream? I don’t think so! As long as there are strong women like us willing to stand up and say “We’re ALL beautiful!”

I agree with Karen – send your post to Dove – start a movement, girl!

Comment by Val Falconer

May 31, 2007 @ 6:21 am

Dear Glenda

What I really want to know is….When won’t it matter?

…if someone can walk, talk, speak etc……

Comment by Mary, the hairdresser

June 1, 2007 @ 12:56 am

Well said Glenda. And I also agree. You should send your post to dove. And also include the website. I know you and agree, you are a beautiful person, inside and out. Especially with that new haircut….:)
I want to know if they respond.

Comment by Glenda

June 1, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. Definitely this issue needs more attention.

Following Karen’s suggestion, I did email Dove Canada and received a response, albeit a rather generic one. A subsequent email result in another response, which, in part, reads:

So far, the images we have included in our advertising, online, in-store and in consumer mailings have included women and girls of many different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and ages. We do not ascribe to tokenism in any way, so the images we have used to date do not necessarily include every possible feature or physical difference. We understand that most people have not seen all Campaign for Real Beauty images because of individual reading, viewing and travel habits. We believe that when the images are considered all together, they represent a genuine potential cross-section of Canadian women – one to which we hope most women will relate in some way.

I will presevere! And keep you posted.

Have a great weekend!

Comment by Lisa

July 8, 2007 @ 11:48 pm

Gosh Glenda – that’s an excellent point! I’d love to see someone with a disability on the Dove ad.
You’re beautiful – you should volunteer yourself! They might just like the idea!

Comment by Lisa

July 8, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

Oh – I just read that you did volunteer yourself.
My reply to them would be that their general potential cross section isn’t broad enough!

Comment by Betty

August 26, 2009 @ 2:03 am

Beauty has been a gift for women since ancient times. Though it sounds partial, beautiful women have always been given preference over an average looking woman. Every woman is born beautiful in some way or another. What we need to do is focus on our strong triats and enhance them and they will take care of our traits that do not resemble us in a very beautiful manner.

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