By The Beauty Book
October 17 was Body Confidence Day, and also the day that personal care brand Dove launched a new campaign to inspire confidence in the 90 per cent of women who feel bad about their underarms
The new campaign also celebrated the arrival of the brand’s new and improved Advanced Care deodorant range, with the support of six well-known Kiwis led by former Black Fern and Olympic athlete, Huriana Manuel-Carpenter.
The campaign, #ArmsUp, was launched in New Zealand in response to Dove-commissioned research, which found that a significant 90% of women said that they had felt bad about their underarms at some point in their lives. The research also found that 90% of women feel that there is a societal pressure to have an “ideal, feminine underarm” and 60% said that worries about their underarms had restricted them from doing something in their lives.
Jessica Hume from Dove says: “Dove has a long legacy of championing real beauty, and that includes challenging narrow ideas of what an acceptable underarm looks like. At Dove we believe that all underarms are beautiful and we want women to feel confident about their own.
“The fact that 60% of women have altered their behaviour due to underarm worries shows that this conversation is overdue. We hope that through this campaign we can get a more diverse and accurate reflection of women’s underarms out into the media and onto social media. Kicking off on Body Confidence Day, we will be sparking this important conversation by encouraging Kiwi women to raise their #ArmsUp to celebrate their unique underarms and champion their own body confidence.”
Together with Manuel-Carpenter, the campaign has the support a diverse range of body positive voices in the public sphere including real beauty advocate and author Jess Quinn, sexologist Morgan Penn, content creator and comedienne Tia Reweti alongside social activists, Brittany and Johanna Cosgrove (A.K.A. the NOPE Sisters), who will all be raising their #ArmsUp and seeking to inspire other Kiwi women to do the same.
Dove Ambassador Huriana Manuel-Carpenter said, “The role of social media and society’s perceptions about what is attractive, including female underarms, is shifting. The dialogue around beauty standards and body confidence is evolving. People are embracing their natural beauty, and the uniqueness of their underarms, whether that’s their body hair, skin pigmentation, or any natural lumps, bumps, and markings. Confidence is so important, especially when I’m working out. My underarms are on show a lot. I have markings and discolouring from having bubs, and it has left me with insecurities around my underarms, but at the end of the day there is really no such thing as “perfect pits”. I am embracing my own uniqueness and natural beauty and wearing them with pride.”
Dove is a long-time champion of positive body confidence, having launched its Real Beauty campaign in 2004. The globally recognised platform prioritises inclusive representation of real women in its advertising. It also runs the Dove Self Esteem Project, aiming to enhance the self-esteem and positive body image of 250 million young people around the globe by 2030.