How Real Women Would Actually Respond to a Dove ‘Experiment’

'I don't think I look like a zoo animal'

Headshot of David Griner

Every time Dove launches a new effort to remind women they're beautiful, the brand seems to pause first to also remind women how much they hate themselves. 

A new parody video from comedy troupe Above Average skewers Dove's tear down/build up approach by creating a faux "True Beauty" experiment in which women are asked to look in a mirror and see how they feel about the results.

"Look at yourself in the mirror," the moderator says soothingly. "Do you feel unattractive? I bet you do."

You can watch the video below to see exactly what happens and, most entertainingly, how more realistic women would react to the formulaic "surprise twists" of Dove's recent marketing efforts inspired by its award-winning Real Beauty Sketches.

Most Dove parodies simply recreate the original video with a different outcome, like the Real Beauty Sketches for Men. With this one, Above Average skips the easy gag of satirizing the recent Beauty Patch viral hit and creates its own experiment to show just how far Dove has tilted toward flat-out condescension. 

My favorite part is when the woman running the experiment becomes visibly flustered because it's not working out as planned. "Just thank Dove," she angrily tells one of the participants while gesturing to the camera. "Hashtag TrueBeauty. Thank them. We showed you using science!"

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."