Fantasy vs Reality, Victoria’s Secret vs Dove

AdvertisingBeauty 9 Comments

We couldn’t help but share this photo, which is making its rounds online again. When you see the dichotomy of these two images, side-by-side, it magnifies the approach that both Victoria’s Secret and Dove are taking with their respective advertising campaigns. But, as similar as the images may appear to be at face value, their messages couldn’t be more different.

Where Victoria’s Secret is focused on fantasy, the Dove ad shows a truer reality. Is one ad more effective than the other? We’re not so sure we’re buying the messages that either of them are selling, but given the over sexualization of women in advertising, Dove’s ad certainly offers a refreshing and unique approach.

What do you think?

  • Jean B.

    While all women aspire to or fantasize about having the perfect body, none of us is actually perfect, but we continually work at it. If Victoria’s Secret thinks their picture is doing women justice, then they should fire their advertising firm. The women in this ad are just too, too thin – almost anorexic. I do not think most women want to be that thin. The Dove ad is definitely more realistic. The Dove models look more like the average woman. This ad is telling women it is OK to be who you are.

    • Roya

      As a NATURALLY skinny, thin-framed woman, I am appalled that people keep calling VS Models “anorexic” and “bulimic”. Have you seen a real anorexic person? HELLO! Okay, so women come in all different shapes and sizes (and that is what Dove is trying to advertise)…then tell me why they have almost nobody representing the population of THINNER, slim-framed women. Almost all of those Dove models have big thighs and are pear/apple shaped (which I am not saying is ugly). Why are they “real women”? Are VS models….men? That’s the only logic that could deny a woman being a woman. Have you seen them in real life with no photo retouching? They still look wonderful and it takes A LOT of hard work to achieve that body, lots of exercising and healthy eating. And has anyone maybe thought that they are really naturally smaller framed? People think I’m skinny because I’m going on a diet….but heck, I am naturally like this, so quit telling me to eat a sandwich, maybe its just you that needs to stop eating burgers! Bottom line…a woman is a woman!

  • JA

    I’m not as “Mr. Salty The Pretzel Man” stick thin like the ladies in the top photo, nor am I as curvy as the ladies in the bottom photo, so in my personal reality I cannot relate to either ad from a body type perspective.

    To me, both images are way too homogenous of one particular body type. It would better serve both brands and the women they market to, to mix up the models they use and at least show some variety… thin, average, athletic, curvy. That would be a MUCH TRUER REALITY!

    It also wouldn’t hurt them to throw some small chested girls in there too… we are ALWAYS underrepresented in everything! 😉

  • Leah

    You know, I agree, I’m not sure what either one is selling, but it would be awesome if all ads had two pictures, the “model” version and then the “real woman” version. The girls in the Dove ad look healthy and normally sized next to the ones in the VS ad. I wonder if society’s perception of beauty would change if they saw a “side by side” every time. I was on a bridesmaid dress site recently and the pictures were Photoshopped so poorly that the models’ heads looked wider than their waists. I kept thinking, how on earth can any normal person fit into these dresses?! I appreciate what Dove is trying to do, but agree with the above statement, more body types need to be represented.

  • L.L

    Why even bother? They are BOTH PHOTOSHOPED. The dove ladies may get their cellulite removed, the VS ladies may photoshop out their visible rib cages. who knows?! P.S to the comments blow only in America would the Dove women be viewed as ‘Healthy’. They are not fat but come on dont justify being a little bigger is better as being ‘Healthy’ Please do not abuse this term -.-

  • sc13

    The Dove women really aren’t that diverse in body type. They’re all healthy weights but that’s it, no women who are healthy at higher or lower weights/weight ratios. And they’re probably photoshopping out skin imperfections and artificially evening out skin tone. I’m not impressed by Dove and it’s really not as liberating or empowering as people think it is. It’s kind of masquerading as being “for women,” when in reality they just want people to buy their supposedly better products.

  • Cool. The the body is very important.It can show your beauty.


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  • Mr. Anderson

    The victorias secret women are too skinny. Attractive, yes, but too skinny. I like attractive real life women and not this fake image that VS pushes.