Body

Dear America, Dove Wants You to Love Your Armpits. Are You Game?

A new campaign from the "we empower women" brand is keen on getting you to love your underarms. Will we buy into it?

"You can be a softer, smoother, more beautiful little armpit:
If you've never stopped to consider the attractiveness of your underarms before, Dove beseeches you to do just so.

The thrust of the ad campaign for its new Advanced Care deodorant line, the goal if you will, is to get women to feel better about and even flaunt their "armpits."

(*Note: if even reading the word "armpits" made you a little squirmy, that's part of the point. Unilever, Dove's parent company, is hell bent on making the word less pejorative.)

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"Women don't really see the skin of their underarms like the skin on the rest of their body," Matthew McCarthy, Unilever's senior marketing director of anti-perspirants and deodorants told The new York Times. "When they think about their underarms, they think mostly about odor and wetness." As part of this new campaign, a TV commercial hopes to hammer home that precise point by avoiding talk of odor or wetness altogether.

Called "An Open Letter to the Armpit," the spot features a bevy of non-model beauties (this is a Dove ad, afte rall) reading aloud: "Dear Armpit, in the lottery of life, you drew the short stick. People shave you, pour hot wax on you, and your name is 'armpit.' People don't treat you like skin because frankly, they don't think of you as skin."

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But, of course, with Dove Advanced Care, things for the poor, unappreciated armpit can take a turn for the better. "You can be a softer, smoother, more beautiful little armpit -- you deserve our best care ever, and don't you ever forget that."

If this all sounds like creating a mountain out of a molehill to you, you're not alone. As Jen Drexler, senior vice president of the Insight Strategy Group says in The Times, "This is just giving women something else to be anxious about. Women do not think about how beautiful their underarms look and they couldn't pick their underarms out of a lineup, so Dove is saying, 'We've invented the problem, and now we're solving it for you,' which is a classic approach for beauty brands."

Watch the commercial below and let us know what you think. Do we need to be concerned with the appearance of our underarms? Or, as Ms. Drexler says, is this just going to add another worry to our already huge list?

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