The Dove company has been trying for years to convince us that they embrace all the different types of bodies that exist in the world. They’ve used non-traditional models, written ads about embracing your own body, and generally tried to forge a path as a brand that likes all kinds of diversity.
They mostly do a nice job of it, even though we all know that every bit of it is focus group-tested and designed specifically to convince us to part with our money. But it’s ok. Capitalism is gonna capitalism.
This week, however, Dove tipped the scales from benign-purveyor-of-corporate-body-acceptance to oh-my-god-really?
Dove unveiled a limited edition run of body wash bottles in interesting shapes. The shapes are supposed to reminiscent of feminine silhouettes. A company statement reads “Our six exclusive bottle designs represent this diversity: just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too."
Yeah, no. No one wants their bottle of body wash to look like their actual body. Or anyone else’s body, either.
I don’t know about any of you, but what I want out of packaging for anything I’m going to use in the shower is the ability to easily hold it with wet hands. That’s it. That is all I ask for. Will it squirt out of my hands and go crashing to the ground? If the answer is yes, I am not interested. I don’t care if it’s a custom modeled bottle that looks so much like me that Madame Tussaud’s is clamoring to put it on exhibit — if I can’t hold onto it, I will not buy it.
A couple of these bottle cannot pass that (very simple) test. Several others look like they’d be too tall to rest on a shower shelf. The rest don’t look any different from a normal body wash bottle.
They certainly don’t look human.
Now, social media did what you would expect social media to do with something as dumb as these bottles and erupted into some next-level trolling. I half suspect that Dove knew the bottles were dorky and released them only to get the free publicity that would happen when the inevitable comparison to the Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle arose.
The bottles are only available in the UK, so Americans will just have to made do with body wash that comes in regular bottles for now. How will we ever manage?