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above average – dove real beauty mirror test

Created by digital comedy network Above Average, this video satirizes Dove “True Beauty”is set up as aads.Styled as if it were a Dove ad focused on helping women “find” their “true beauty,”,the video shows three women going in to a well-lit room to be interviewed. The women enter the room individually and are asked by an interviewer, “How do you feel about your appearance”?, with a pointedly sympathetic tone. The women say they feel “good”, “pretty good,” and “okay,” and the interviewer responds exaggeratedly with condescending negative comments like, “hmm that bad?” The interviewer then receives a phone call, winks at the camera, and walks away, telling the women that there is a mirror on the wall in the room. The interviewer leaves, and the women stand up to look at themselvesin the mirror, only tosee a person in agorillasuit reflected back at them. The women react with shock and surprise, and the interviewer is seen watching from another room, speaking into an intercom saying, “Wow, you must hate what you see when you look in the mirror,” and “You look in the mirror and what you see is a disgusting zoo animal,” and “Look at yourself in the mirror, do you feel unattractive?” The women protest and reject what she is saying, but she goes on, and eventually comes back into the room and says, “What would you say if I told you, that is not your face in the mirror?…That it is a gorilla man in the mirror?” The exasperated women all say they know that wasn’t their face in the mirror, react negatively and try to leave. As they storm out, the video ends with the interviewer saying that they can “thank Dove” and #TrueBeauty for making them feel beautiful.The clip ends with a cut to the Dove logo and a voiceover saying, “Dove…you fell for our weird psychology experiment and it showed you you’re not actually a hideous monster, so where’s our Nobel peace prize or whatever?”


Why do you think Above Average made this satirical short? What are they trying to say about the ads from Dove’s #TrueBeauty campaign, which often feature “regular” women and aim to promote self-acceptance and confidence through interviews and setups similar to this?

What does this video say about how ads may manipulate women and girls into second-guessing their appearance? How does the beauty industry set unrealistic beauty standards through advertising to sell products?

This video illustrates the reflexive relationship between self-perception and confidence in one’s appearance or how you may see yourself. What is your self-perception on your own appearances? How much value do you place on whether or not you are attractive or beautiful? Does this change depending on gender? Does media impact your self-perception negatively or positively? Give examples.

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