Dove has just released a disturbing ad promoting its new product line: Baby Dove. The ad features young women sharing their views of mothering. And then there’s a cross-dressing father trying to pass as a mother who tells us that when it comes to mothering, “There’s no one right way to do it all.”
The ad begins with the ironic words, “Moms are redefining what it means to be a ‘good mom.’”
And then during the showcase of all kinds of “mothers”: a male grad student “Shea” proclaims that he and his wife — who is the biological mom but never speaks during the commercial — are both “moms” of their newborn son. The man in the ad is actually the baby's biological father dressed as one of the moms!
You read that right, Unilever has a Dove soap commercial featuring a father dressed as a woman saying he is the baby's mom!
“Shea” inarguably has a sex. He is objectively and immutably a man. The lowest-bar requirement for mothers is that they are objectively female. The essential feature of mothers is their objective sex as females. Whatever else a mother is, she is first and necessarily a woman. This man is not, and never can be a woman, and, therefore, he is not, and never can be a mother.
This cross-dressing young father who rejects his sex has in effect abandoned his son. What message does this send his son? While looking inward to his own narcissistic and disordered desires, “Shea” ignores both the needs and future desires of his son who will long for a father who rejoices in his role as a father. His son will long for a father who isn’t a public spectacle. And his son will need a father to be a role model for him, to show him the way to become a man and to teach him to love his own maleness. “Shea” will instead teach his son to be ashamed of and guilty about his own natural and proper feelings of sorrow for his missing father.
“Shea’s” delusional belief that he can be a woman and a mother suggests the absurd idea that belief can alter reality. The message of the ad is that good mothers are those who fully embrace their own selfish desires and their own internal sense of right, wrong, and reality.
The ad concludes with these audacious and ironic words: “To #RealMoms everywhere.”
After reaching out to Unilever, here is their immediate response:
Thank you for contacting Dove regarding our advertising.
We certainly apologize and did not wish to offend anyone; we thank you for being a loyal consumer to our brand. Our ads are designed to be informative, truthful and “in good taste.” The agencies creating our advertising adhere strictly to our guidelines.
In developing product messages, we may not always anticipate all possible implications of a television commercial. We appreciate hearing your comments. Our company thanks you for being a loyal consumer to our brand. We will report your comments to our Marketing staff.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.
Dove Consumer Services
What stands out the most is they have the audacity to use the word “truthful” when explaining how their ads are designed. Truthful? I think not. A man being a mom is the farthest from the truth.
Please use the information we have provided through our website to contact Dove (owned by Unilever) concerning the man impersonating a mom in their recent Baby Dove ad.