Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ Ad Campaign Tells Women ‘You’re More …

Do women see themselves less accurately than strangers do? A new Dove campaign says yes — and offers proof, in the form of forensic sketches.

Dove recruited seven women of different ages and backgrounds and had FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora create composite sketches of them based on descriptions of their own facial features. In the above video, produced for the campaign, you can hear the women use phrases like my mom told me I had a big jaw, I kind of have a fat, rounder face, Id say I have a pretty big forehead.

We really werent sure what was going on, Kela Cabrales, a 40-year-old technology teacher and digital artist who appears in the video, told HuffPost Women. They asked me to describe myself and use neutral terms and just the facts sort of descriptions.

Earlier in the day, the women had been asked to spend time with strangers, though neither party was told why. These strangers were later brought one by one into a room with Zamora and asked to describe the women who had been sketched earlier. The two resulting drawings of each woman were then hung side-by-side — and the contrast is pretty stark. The tagline of the campaign is: You are more beautiful than you think. (Scroll down for more of the sketches.)

Its worth noting that Dove is owned by Unilever — the same company that owns Axe, king of misogynistic ads that use headless breasts and flirty girls to hawk its products. However, despite the obvious commercial intentions behind this campaign, the message rings true and is a refreshing departure from the many female-targeted ads that try to shame women into buying things.

And its womens existing shame that the Dove campaign does a good job of exposing through its sketches. I probably beat myself up way more than I should, Cabrales acknowledged to HuffPost Women. I see my 8-year-old daughter, and she’s so happy and confident, and naturally exudes this beauty. And when I see her I feel like, Oh god, what pitfalls did I fall into, and how can I keep that from happening to her? I don’t know what they are — I wish I did. I really want to protect her.

LOOK: Some Of Doves Real Beauty Sketches

From the publisher: My job touches worlds of news, advertising, business

When I go into the grocery store, I’m like a kid in a candy shop.

Many of you know my husband, Randy, retired many years ago to care for me, our daughter and later my parents. So while I’ve been working, he has done all the hard work of paying bills, fixing this and that, cooking and cleaning and errands and shopping.

I’m essentially not allowed to cook, which is fine with all parties. But I get to gleefully tag along to the grocery store now and then.

The dizzying array of items is fascinating! As a marketer, I’m intrigued by brands, packaging and products. I look at who’s advertising what, how they’re positioned, and what catches my eye.

While Randy is methodically cruising aisles with his lists, I browse and dawdle and study. And I plop nifty things into the cart: Sushi, breath mint strips, 100-calorie brownie bites, reduced-fat crunchy peanut butter.

This drives Randy crazy. Aside from disrupting his routine and getting lost in Aisle 4, I’m buying things that are not on sale.

With our modest backgrounds, we’re both quite frugal. But he has developed an expertise around pricing and coupons that governs what he buys where and when.

Ten cents adds up. Ten dollars off grocery coupons are worth their weight in vegetables. Twenty percent off at a restaurant inspires us to give them a try. (We’ll then leave a bigger tip because we’re happy with the bargain.)

For Randy, it’s less about saving money than about getting a great deal because you planned well. I should note he is a tad susceptible to advertising messages. When we lived in Washington, DC, we heard a radio ad for a Mexican restaurant: the Crabby Sombrero. It so captivated Randy, we drove miles and miles…like an hour!…only to find a dive at the end of our journey. He still calls it a great advertisement, which apparently it was.

As publisher and president of the News-Press Media Group I get to engage in both the news and advertising departments, keeping a finger on the pulse of consumers, businesses and readers.

We in the media business are most proud of the power of news content, the heart of who we are. Over the years, we’ve helped rally the community behind fighting hunger, providing blankets for the homeless, elevating the quality of education, and more.

I Got it Covered

Ada County officials report that in the first quarter of this year, the number of applications for concealed handgun permits tripled the figures from the same period in recent years. Theyre on a pace to add more than 7,000 such permits to the thousands already out there.

This remarkable surge in the collective desire of so many of our neighbors to strap on a Colt or a Glock, a .38 or a .45, a snub-nose or an automatic–or in the spirit of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, all of them at once–has me curious. Are we experiencing a corresponding rise in violent crime that Im not aware of? Is somebody not telling us that the people of Boise and Meridian and Columbia Village are being murdered at an alarming rate? Or raped? Or mugged or car-jacked or kidnapped? Are the citizens of Kuna and Garden City being assaulted on the street? At their work? On their way to rent a movie or to get their tires rotated? Have our city parks and strip malls and Moxie Javas become such crime-ridden hell holes that these concealed weapons people dare not leave the house without that great equalizer stashed away under their clothing?

It must be, I realize now, as there would be no need for a concealed handgun permit at home.

As far as I know, you can openly display as many handguns as you want at home. You can keep one on the kitchen counter, or on the toilet. On the coffee table, the knickknack shelf, the piano, the clothes hamper. Why, a fellow can keep a handgun on every flat surface in the whole damn house, if he can afford it.

And thats the thing, isnt it? You dont need a concealed weapons permit back at the castle, where most of the time, we keep our valuables, our beloved pets and our families. So its got to be outside that has become so fearful. Out in public. Out where those !#%amp;@*!$ people are!

Bars! Bowling alleys! Convenience stores where I go for Slim Jims and Red Bull! How can I have been so stupid to have gone there without a gun? What in hell was I thinking? I guess the only thing that saved my dumb ass was the fact that I was likely surrounded by smarter people than me. People smart enough to never, ever, go anywhere without a rod in their armpit. A gat in their pants. A heater under their hoodie.

I shudder just to think about it. Like that guy last night. He looked a little like Ted Kaczynski, hanging around about 30 feet downwind from my ATM. He had me nervous, no kidding. But now that I know there are thousands and thousands of concealed handgun permits–old, new and pending–out there among the people I live around, its more likely he and his hidden gun saved me from a horrible incident, isnt it, rather than involving me in one? Its like the gun proponents always argue: Its all those guns you didnt see that saved us from all those criminal acts that didnt happen.

Anyway, whew! I dodged a bullet, probably. Maybe hundreds of bullets, all thanks to those vigilant folks who, with their secret magnums and Dirty Harry dreams, protect us from all the worst possible scenarios that stalk our streets.

But… hold on. I just thought of something. What if all those guys with concealed gun permits dont actually have a gun concealed on them? What if they just want the permits because theyre worried somebodys going to come along some day and take away their ability to get such permits? What if its not a matter of so much crime going on… or any prospect of so much crime ever going on, not as long as we have modern conveniences like policemen and car doors that lock… or the absence of any tangible reason for so many Idahoans to be hiding firearms in their clothing… but what if its nothing more than those people wanting to get hold of something they dont need because they heard somewhere that something which has never been proposed–never even been suggested and certainly never been legislated–might happen anyway.

And wouldnt that mean this frantic scramble for concealed weapons permits is bringing out the most gullible, most panic-prone, scaredy-pants, illogically fearful men and women? Men and women who are once more being terrified into buying things they dont need to fend off attacks that wont happen by criminals that dont exist? Or just as bad, what if this has absolutely nothing to do with personal safety or self protection, keeping ones car from being jacked or purse from being snatched, but is really just several thousand of our neighbors throwing a little pissy fit because they think somebody, some day, might tell them they cant get everything they want?

And now theyre out there. Among us. Thousands of them. Spoiled, gullible, fraidy cats maybe with guns tucked away under their duds, or maybe not. Out there where you and I might inadvertently cut them off in traffic. Accidentally step on their toes in a crowd. Let slip a perceived insult in a bar or approach them too quickly in a parking garage. Or simply tell them something they dont want to hear on the job.

And we already know how well they take disappointment, dont we? Whether its real or imagined.

Crap! Now Im scared. Maybe I should get a concealed gun permit, what do you think? Like, what if one of these petulant, panicky assholes pulls a gun on me? Ive been told I look a little like Ted Kaczynski, but I still have a right to protect myself, dont I? And if you think Im gonna sit there like a dummy, waiting to see who fires first, youre !#%amp;@*!$ nuts!

Groves hospital locks doors

Locked doors, an empty parking lot and unanswered phone lines say what officials at Renaissance Hospital Groves have not that the facility is, at least temporarily, not taking patients.

On Monday, the 49-bed general and medical facility at 5500 39th St., in Groves was closed. Hospital maintenance personal said services would be suspended for two-to-three weeks.

Numerous phone calls placed to Renaissance Hospital administrators by The News were not returned Monday.

Renaissance officials did, however, notify Acadian Ambulance Service on Friday, Brandon Hebert, director of operations with Acadian Ambulance, said.

We got a call on Friday, April 26, notifying us the hospital would be closed until further notice, Hebert said.

Groves City Manager D. E. Sosa said he called hospital officials Monday to determine if rumors of the facilitys closing were true.

I have not been able to confirm, my phone calls have not been returned, Sosa said.

Problems at the Groves hospital are not new.

Nearly a year ago, in May, Renaissance announced it was under new management after the hospitals former chief executive officer, and former clinical and administrative personnel were terminated from their positions.

At the time, Foundation Surgical Hospital Affiliates, an Oklahoma City, Okla. hospital management company was tapped to manage the facility. The management company is no longer serving in that capacity.

Renaissance Groves was inspected by the Texas Department of State Health Services in January 2012. A month later, the Groves hospital was notified that Medicare would not allow the hospital to participate in the program until deficiencies were corrected and a period of reasonable reassurance was met.

Hebert said Acadian had only, in the past month or so, started to transport ambulance patients back to the hospital.

Though he doesnt know how long the hospital will be closed, Sosa said he expected to see a loss of revenue mainly from sales tax money generated by the hospitals 80 to 100 employees.

As one of the top 10 employers in the city, we will see less people buying things, Sosa said. It will not kill our economy, but it will not help it. They fuel the business community in Groves.

The city of Groves also derives property tax revenue from Renaissance Hospital, as well as revenue from water, sewer and garbage collection.

We want them to stay; we want them to stay healthy, Sosa said.


Jayne Dawson: Kate, thank you for giving us some baby gossip at last

Don’t go mad, it’s not rich pickings, nothing to jump up and down about – a phrase I can never write without seeing Tom Cruise leaping up and down on that Oprah sofa – eek, the embarrassment, even all these years later.

Kate would never leap up and down outside of a netball court, so we’re safe there, but she is at last proving gossipily newsworthy as her mum-to-be status progresses.

She began well enough, with a dramatic flourish even, as intense morning sickness drove her into hospital and forced her to reveal her condition to the world long before she would normally have made such an announcement.

But then all went quiet. Mid-pregnancy can be a bit boring and Kate’s was more boring than most.

If she and William have been spending every night poring over the baby development books with a mug of Ovaltine each – and I hope they have because that’s a lovely thing to do – then we don’t know about it.

If there have been rows over names, then all has been kept hush-hush and, in any case, much as we would love to imagine it, we know there will not have been, since Kate and William are so simpatico in all things.

But now there are, at last, the signs of a baby bump, plus some rather short hemlines, and that is enough to perk up our interest, for now.

It means that articles can be written envisaging the strength of the abdominal muscles that are keeping that baby so much under wraps.

And comments can be made on all that leg recently on show, presumably to detract from the baby bump.

As Kate gets bigger, there will be the opportunity to compare her maternity outfits – tasteful, tailored, body skimming – with the maternity fashions of previous years.

Believe me, no matter how many decades pass, you never forget your maternity clothes. I myself fell victim to the pink dungaree period of maternity wear of the mid-1980s. My other outfit was a neon pink dress with spots like saucers, to match to the eyes of any who gazed upon me. I don’t know what I looked like on the outside but, on the inside, I was Bananarama, and was happy.

Kate will never look Bananarama, she is probably too young to have heard of them, nor will she indulge in the 90s bare belly trend, though I would love it if she did, for the shock value and also because I rather liked that look.

But now what we have is pictures of Kate buying things, and we must content ourselves with that.

Only this week Kate was spotted buying a white Moses basket with mum Carole. The basket cost £295 and Kate and Carole bought it while both wearing dark blue jeans teamed with black boots.

In even bigger news, Kate has revealed that she has chosen her pushchair and this, for those who don’t know, is a big purchase, not just in cost, but in terms of personal identity.

Kate could have chosen a Silver Cross – a brand that conjures up images of nannies in uniforms, or upper middle class mummies in the park, but she didn’t.

She could have chosen the iCandy, a British make favoured by those who think of themselves as younger and hipper than Silver Cross people, but she didn’t.

Instead, Kate has gone for the A-lister’s choice, the Bugaboo. It doesn’t fit into the boot of small cars, it requires focus and possibly training to unfold, but it was designed by a Dutchman who wanted a pushchair that both men and women would be happy to push, which allows the possibility of all manner of modern dad photo opportunities for William.

So this Kate’s greatest gift to us so far, a modest and uneventful pregnancy – but with the promise of good family snaps to follow.

Indians itching to splurge on holiday, entertainment

The Indian consumer’s confidence level is not too high but he has lately been buying like crazy, according to findings of Nielsen, which regularly tracks consumer buying.

Piyush Mathur, president of Nielsen India, said in a statement that despite a marginal drop in their confidence level, they have been making much more discretionary spending than before.

Better still, says Mathur, consumers are thinking of loosening their purse strings over the next few months for home improvement, holidays and entertainment.

“At the same time, building up savings for the future with retirement and mutual funds is a healthy indication of how Indian consumers are viewing this year, and the added stress on long-term financial stability is encouraging for the economy,” a statement issued by Mathur says.

Consumer confidence in India dropped to 120 in the first quarter of calendar 2013 from 121 in the preceding quarter. Globally, at 122 Indonesian consumers were the most confident. A year back, India’s index was 123.

Mark Ashman, CEO of HyperCITY Retail, told Financial Chronicle, “Despite the economic crisis, shoppers are stocking up on all kinds of products, including discretionary ones: this is evident in our quarter IV (of 2012-13). We have done reasonably well in terms of volumes in January-March.”

Pranab Barua, CEO of Madura Garments, part of Aditya Birla Nuvo, has a similar experience: consumers are spending on items across the board and particularly on discretionary products. “The mood is quite buoyant unlike last year. We have seen decent growth in January-March,” he says.

Industry experts say retailers are positing consistent profits and decent sales. “Products that are selling fast are not the really very expensive ones but fun stuff such as exotic biscuits, shampoos, cocktail mixers – an indication that consumers like to party when the chips are down,” says a Mumbai-based retailer.

Consumer psychologists say people cannot hold back purchases in a long-drawn economic crisis. “In a weak economy, people will have problems with self- control. When a slowdown hits and people really start to feel the pinch, they like to spend on discretionary products to feel- good,” Siddharth S Singh, associate professor of marketing at Indian School of Business, told FC.

Economists say it is but natural for people to gravitate towards finer products once their basic needs are fulfilled. “So the perception of economic slowdown is not true. Our economy is doing well and hence people are realising it and buying more comfort products,” said Piyush K Sinha, marketing professor at IIM Ahmedabad.

“Despite the job uncertainty and no increments, I want to feel good, so I’m going on a holiday to Thailand,” said Mahua Sarkar, a Mumbai-based dancer.

The last quarter showed more Indians spending of spare cash on holidays: 39 per cent of the sample surveyed, up from 28 per cent in the preceding quarter.

Almost two in five (38 per cent) online urban Indian respondents indicated focusing on home improvement, an increase of 11 per cent. Intent to spend on out-of-home entertainment also increased (26 per cent respondents against 19 per cent).

As many as 54 per cent of the Indian respondents see themselves buying things they want or need over the next 12 months.

“This highlights a contradictory nature of the urban Indian consumer, cautious about the state of the economy but at the same time indicating a higher discretionary spending for the year. Small- ticket consumption will be encouraged, but not large- ticket investments like automobiles and homes,” Mathur said in the statement.

WeChat will lose users if it starts to charge: survey

The survey, conducted by Avanti, a division of global market research firm TrendForce, found that over 66 percent of WeChat users will stop using the popular service if it starts to charge.

In addition, nearly a quarter of the surveyed users said they believe the app will continue to be free.

The survey came amid growing consumer outrage as rumors emerged that Chinese telecom operators are working on a plan to charge for use of the countrys most popular free mobile application.

However, Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., which developed and launched WeChat in 2011, has denied the rumors, reiterating that the app will continue to be free.

WeChat currently has over 300 million users worldwide, mostly in China, the company said.

The survey collected 2,542 valid samples in early April. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Tencent is mulling integrating the free app with e-commerce, a move that is considered to find its business niche.

In a concept video clip shown at a forum on branding and innovation earlier this month, people were seen interacting with their friends via WeChat and buying things, paying restaurant bills and carrying out other transactions through the mobile app.

Earth Day Lecture

Jenna Crowley
April 30, 2013
Filed under Health amp; Life

When Josephine Miller looked out of her Santa Monica pier-front office, onto the plastic-littered beach, she was reminded exactly what she came to do. Save the planet.

Miller, the director of sustainable packaging at the City of Santa Monicas Office of Sustainability and the Environment, and her colleague Karl Bruskotter, an OSE environmental analyst, came to Santa Monica College last Tuesday to present an Earth Day special lecture entitled, Saving the Planet, One Purchase at a Time.

The room was packed with a variety of people, from SMC students to Santa Monica community members, and even a television camera crew covering the event for the local station.

Bruskotter began with a slideshow presentation explaining the basics of what it means to consume.

The supply and distribution chain, he explained, is the basic idea of consumerism. People take from the planet such things as oil, minerals, animals and trees, and exploit them and send them to a factory, make something, distribute it, consumers buy it, use it, and eventually discard it, he said.

this cycle, it is inevitable that we, to some degree, use energy, omit toxins, use water, use material,
generate waste in water and the environment, and generate air pollution. Depending on the product, they all have varying effects on the environment, he said.

We must be conscious of our own consumption, Bruskotter said. There are too many people dependent on Mother Earth, and not enough environment to support the needs of the populations.

Bruskotter went on to explain the ways we can change our everyday habits to be more environmentally conscious. Although the ultimate goal is to consume less altogether, Bruskotter recommended starting with practices such as recycling.

There used to be a lot of contaminated
waste that would go to China, Bruskotter said. They are refusing our trash and sending it back. Now, we are starting to realize that we really dont have anywhere to put this waste, and that we have to deal with the problem instead of shipping it away.

In addition to recycling, he said that another step is to learn how to shop green.

From food and clothing, to technology and cleaning supplies, everything has a certain impact on the environment, and everything can be bought in a certain shade of green, Bruskotter said.

To determine what may be considered a green product, he said, there are a few areas to consider.

A products toxicity level, which determines whether it is biodegradable, organic, or a pollutant, was one factor he mentioned.

Another factor he noted was a products manufacturing location, and how far it had to travel to get to the store.

Bruskotter also said that the idea that labels deceive the consumer into thinking products are green is called greenwashing. Just because a product shows a green leaf on the label does not mean it is eco-friendly, he said.

In order to avoid greenwashing, he recommended researching products, looking at the ingredients, and considering how trustworthy the labels are.

Some products that can typically be trusted, Bruskotter said, are Energy Star products, as well as those labeled with the United States Department of Agriculture organic seal.

He said that the the last step to smart consumerism is simply consuming less.

We are a disposable society, he said. We must concentrate on buying things that will last us a long time, with good quality things that can be repaired and reused.

When Miller took her turn at the podium, she spoke about her project, which includes the ban of plastic bags and styrofoam in Santa Monica.

Miller displayed a picture of beaches of Santa Monica that were destroyed by styrofoam and plastic bags after rainfall, which portrayed the negative impact that these one-time use products have on the ocean.

Everything comes to our beach when it rains in LA, said Miller. The drains lead right to us, and with it, the trash.

With the successful ban of one-time use plastic bags in Santa Monica last year, Miller has successfully made reusable bags a staple in the city.

Open year-round, the OSE is located next to the Santa Monica Pier and always accepts applications for volunteers and interns. For questions regarding the environment and what you can do to help, call the OSE at 310-458-2213.

Arizona jobless rate declines in February

New figures for February put the unemployment rate at 7.9 percent, a decline of one-tenth of a percent. And, on paper, the state did add 22,900 jobs from January.

But economist Aruna Murthy of the state Department of Administration, said that is below what is normally expected this time of the year.

The states retail sector shed 5,000 jobs month over month as stores are selling less and, as a result hiring fewer staffers.

Its a reflection of the economy, Murthy said.

People are still worried, she continued. People are not spending as much as they typically do.

Murthy said some of that uncertainty is the inability of the federal government to reach a deal over mandatory budget cuts.

At the same time, there was a 2 percentage point increase in payroll taxes, meaning smaller paychecks.

But Murthy said the problem could be more long term as shopping habits change. She said the experience of the past Christmas season showed a jump in people buying items online.

As a result, they didnt go to a retail store, she said. And that, in turn, also means traditional brick-and-mortar shops are curtailing their hiring.

Backing up that shift in the economy is the fact that wholesale trade employment in Arizona added 1,500 jobs last month. And overall employment is approaching 102,000, a 6.2 percent increase over the same time a year earlier.

Murthy said thats a reflection of an increase in the number of firms that have set up warehouses and distribution centers in Arizona. And many of them are shipping directly to customers.

That trend, she said, is likely to continue, as younger shoppers who are becoming a larger sector of the spending population are quite comfortable buying things online.

The other area of some concern is the slowing growth in health care employment.

That is the one sector of the Arizona economy that weathered the recession quite nicely.

In fact, employment continued to grow even as other industries were hedding workers.

Last month, however, it lost 1,000 jobs. And year-over-year growth has slowed to just 1.8 percent, as low as its been since the recession began.

Its very perplexing to me, Murthy said.

One possible explanation, she said, is uncertainty over exactly what the federal Affordable Care Act will mean and even if it really will be implemented.

Murthy said only when the terms of the program become better understood will companies decide how many doctors and nurses they will


The Morality of Domestic Manufacturing

I sport the Alden 405s nearly everyday, they are my pride and joy. I have also taken a liking to Horween leather in general as I have started collecting different accessories like a NATO watch strap and belt both made by an American craftsman. What I have found is that buying things that are well-made is very conservative because it supports workmanship and lasts longer than the cheap planned obsolescence stuff elsewhere.