Are you anti-age or pro-age(TM)? According to a recent Dove global study, nearly all women over 50 want to see a change in society's view on women and aging. In addition, the majority of women believe that if media were reflective of the population, a person would likely believe women over 50 do not exist.
For the first time, a brand is talking to women about aging in apositive tone. Continuing its ongoing commitment to widen the narrow definition of beauty, Dove, the global beauty brand, is boldly challenging the "only young- is-beautiful" stereotype with the next phase of the Campaign for Real Beauty: pro-age. Designed to expose what our anti-aging
society has been hiding, pro-age celebrates women 50+ by showing their honest, real beauty.
The initiative is being brought to life through a global communications campaign created with internationally renowned photographer, Annie Leibovitz, an over-50-year-old woman herself. The campaign features imagesof real women, literally uncovering all of their age spots, grey hair and curves, demonstrating that women are genuinely stunning -- at any age.
"Dove seeks to create an attitudinal change in the anti-aging category -- from negative and fear-driven to affirmative and hope-driven," says Kathy O'Brien, Dove Marketing Director. "Pro-age is about looking great for
It includes a first-of-its kind pro-age product collection -- not anti-age but pro-age -- specially created to meet the unique skin and hair changes women experience as they age. Designed with women over 50-years-old in mind, the vibrant packaging features a larger font size and highlights the active ingredients to help maturing skin and hair look their best.
"I never thought about the implications of anti-aging until the suggestion of the pro-age line," says Athena Uslander, a 51-year-old specialty bakery owner who is featured in the campaign. "Now I think anti-age means that you are constantly fighting this natural phenomenon of aging, whereas pro-age is a much more subtle way of dealing with the same process - making your body work with aging in the best way possible."
The impetus for this campaign came from the realization that women over 50 are under-represented in society. It is far too common for 20- and 30-year- old women to be represented in media, advertising and entertainment, while women 40- and 50-plus are virtually ignored.
"Women over 50 are doing things today that previous generations never thought possible," says Dr. Nancy Etcoff, Harvard University. "They are mothers of young children, CEOs of major companies, and students going back to school for advanced degrees. It is time for society to catch up with this new generation."
Contrary to societal standards, this new breed of financially independent and socially active women shares the Dove pro-age philosophy that beauty has no age limit.
According to the recent Dove global study, "Beauty Comes of Age":
- 87 percent believe they are too young to be old.
- 92 percent believe past generations of women over 50 were not doing the things women over 50 are doing today.
- 91 percent of the women surveyed believe the media and advertising need to do a better job of representing realistic images of women over 50.
- 97 percent believe society is less accepting of appearance considerations for women over 50 than their younger counterparts, with showcasing one's body the least acceptable.
"Unfortunately, despite an increase in the population of the older demographic, age-related stereotypes are still very much alive in today's society," notes Dr. Robert Butler, founder of the International Longevity Center and a collaborator on the global study. "Our report showed that the lives of today's older women do not reflect how society views them."
Dove is launching a new Web site, http://www.doveproage.com, where women can share their views on beauty and aging, get product information, learn about the pro-age real women and hear from experts.