Latest Stories

Reveal the beautiful you–and light up a billboard


THREE of the country’s top female photographers: Joann Bitagcol, Pilar Tuazon and Sara Black

What if someone says you could be the next girl to grace an Edsa billboard?

There’s no punch line there. You’re thinking you’re not a celebrity or a model, so how could your face possibly be on a billboard unless it’s for something hysterical like hemorrhoid meds or insecticide.

If that’s your initial reaction, you’re likely among the 96 percent of women who don’t think they’re beautiful—or at least attractive enough to grace a billboard for a beauty product.

At least one company has been trying to change that perception for years by featuring regular women in its beauty campaigns. There has been little progress, as the company’s research reveals.

Kelly Misa

In 2004, Dove talked to 3,200 women aged 18-64 in 10 countries to understand their idea of beauty. Only 2 percent of those women considered themselves beautiful. Six years and several beauty campaigns hence, in 2010, Dove once again spoke to 6,400 women in 20 countries, and found that still only 4 percent described themselves as beautiful.

Interviewing random women and their girl friends on the street, Dove has found that women generally are dumbfounded when asked what they found attractive in themselves. Same women, however, quickly point out the physical features they find pleasing in their friends. So the brand raises the question: If you can see the beauty in others, shouldn’t you be able to see the beauty in yourself?


Global campaign

Continuing its global revolutionary “Real Beauty” campaign, Dove in the Philippines is encouraging women to take the seven-day Dove challenge: use Dove Beauty Bar for seven days, then upload a close-up photo of yourself on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Dove) until Oct. 31.

he Dove brand team, Cza de Leon, Kay Paras, Nikki Abella and Dove brand manager Jules Gollayan

A panel of judges from the Dove Beauty Council, led by photographer Sara Black, will choose 10 finalists who will become the faces of Dove’s “Reveal Your Glowing Skin” campaign.

The 10 women will not only grace Dove’s LED billboards on Edsa, they will also be featured in a photo exhibit shot by the top 10 Filipina photographers, including Black, Jo Ann Bitagcol, Pilar Tuason, Denise Wheldon, Lillen Uy, Mandy Navasero, Jeannie Arambulo, Jeanne Young, Isa Lorenzo and MM Yu.

In a similar campaign in the United States, the chosen women graced the Dove billboard in Times Square, the penultimate real estate for billboards.

Sara Black, Gollayan and host Lexi Schulze

While previous Dove “Real Beauty” campaigns were an appeal to emotion—there was the 2006 “Evolution,” which illustrated women’s distorted image of beauty by doing a glammed-up makeover of a regular girl with tons of airbrushing, makeup and, ultimately, Photoshop; then “True Colors” also in 2006, which showed very young girls revealing their physical insecurities; and another, in 2008, which challenged social perceptions of beauty—this time, Dove wants it to be more exciting, according to Dove brand manager Jules Gollayan.

Now, it’s about appealing essentially to two things many women love: Facebook and posing for cameras (read: camwhoring). The goal, Gollayan said, is “to make the other 96 percent feel and believe they’re beautiful in their own way.”

Visual literacy

Black, a longtime collaborator of Dove, said, in explaining the rationale behind the campaign: “Visual things are becoming more and more apparent in our daily lives. We don’t just write or say things now. Sometimes you upload a photo on Instagram and that’s your statement for the day. Unfortunately, we don’t go to school for visual literacy; we learn from example…

Valerie Chua and Nina Almoradie

“Problem is, I’m not saying gender is the only thing that dictates what makes a picture good or beautiful or what makes a good subject, but it plays a role somehow. There are so very few women photographers. Our visual literacy is impaired in a way because we don’t see different points of view… But we’re growing in numbers. So there’s this connection of women empowerment with visual literacy, and the connection with Dove as the advocate of women empowerment.”

Black underscored the true message of the campaign: It’s not just about physical appearance.

“It comes from a very deep place inside, if you’re satisfied and content with your life,” she noted. “You don’t have to have the perfect eyes, or the symmetrical face, it’s not about that. It’s about having the inner confidence and the satisfaction with the way you live your life.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: beauty , Billboards , Lifestyle , Women

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • ’30-minute no fly zone’ over NAIA, Palace on Obama arrival, departure—CAAP
  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow