Dove Combats Media Sexism by Exposing How Female Athletes are Covered

By: Riley von Niessen - Jul 30, 2016
References: youtube & adweek
In a continuation of Dove's 'My Beauty, My Say' campaign, the company created a series of digital billboards to show how prevalent media sexism still is when it comes to the discussion of female athletes. In order to demonstrate this, Dove collaborated with Shawn Johnson, a former gymnast, to find examples of the degrading ways media outlets were speaking of female competitors.

Shawn Johnson explained that her desire to become involved in the campaign was due to her own experience with media sexism, which she explained by saying, "I was at this competition to compete as a world-class athlete, but so much of the conversation was about how I looked. I was being told by the media, and the world, that I was 'too muscular,' that I had 'too much bulk,' that I was 'too short,' that I 'looked too young.'"

In addition to Shawn Johnson's example, it was found that an alarming amount of the time, the discussion revolved around what women looked like rather than their athletic performance -- working to belittle their accomplishments. By exposing how common these examples of media sexism are, Dove hopes to stimulate conversation around the topic so that people are more critical of outlets and female competitors are treated better as a result.