“Beauty on your own terms” – Week 4 Story Critique

smileThis week I looked at a Dove commercial.  Recently Dove has had a campaign to promote the healthy body image of women, and this is one of their more recent commercials.  Every day men and women are exposed to images showing what an “ideal” body looks like, and many people are left thinking that what they look like is bad or should be improved.  As I write this blog post I am sitting next to a large poster I have of Wonder Woman.  No one can argue that she isn’t awesome, but it is also clear that she was created and drawn with an “ideal female body type” in mind.

I will be critiquing this commercial using the following questions/criteria:

What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?

This commercial shows several different women, each sharing their story of how another person shamed them for an aspect for their physical appearance.  Whether or not the women wrote their lines themselves, it is clear that their voice is being expressed and their personality is being portrayed.

How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story?

Because this is a commercial, it is intended for a widespread audience.  Although the message is one that would benefit both men and women, I can imagine that it is intended for women who have potential to buy Dove products.  Given that the intended audience is so large, the story and purpose were very straight forward and easy to understand.

What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?

I found this commercial on YouTube when I was watching workout videos.  Normally I skip the add as soon as I have the option, but I found myself watching this entire video and then searching for it so I could watch it again.  I know that YouTube is able to show people advertisements that are relevant to the video they are searching for, and because I was sifting through work out videos, this commercial was well fitted for me.  This commercial is also on television and perhaps on other websites/programs that show advertisements, such as Pandora.com.

Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement?

As a commercial, I think this digital story is quite good.  As an overall message, or story that I would share with others there are some things I would change.  I would like to learn more about the women in the video.  For example, how did Heather get into boxing?  What made Jessica so interested in fashion?  And how did all of these women overcome the naysayers in their lives in order to be happy and do what they love?  I think this kind of information would benefit viewers and make this story that much more powerful.

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