Former model campaigns for 'real beauty' in lecture

By Meghan Finlayson


A Dove spokesperson and model challenged students and faculty to change their perceptions about real beauty in her presentation Oct. 11 in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

As a college student living in Chicago, Stacy Nadeau was approached on the street one day and asked to   join the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.

Nadeau became one of the six “Dove girls” and part of Dove’s advertising campaign in 2004. The campaign was created to redefine beauty and improve self-esteem, as well as sell Dove products.

The campaign began after Dove sent out a national survey asking women if they felt comfortable calling themselves beautiful. Ninety-eight percent of those who replied to the survey answered “no.”

As a “Dove girl,” Nadeau modeled with five other women, ranging from size two to size 12. Their photos were not airbrushed or altered, and the women were stripped down to their underwear.

The goal of these photos was to show Dove’s belief that “real beauty can be stunning.”

Nadeau and the five other models felt that “if [they made] one woman feel better about herself, [they did] their job.”

Encouraging more women to feel good about themselves, the “Dove girls” made appearances on the “Today Show,” “Ellen DeGeneresand “Oprah.

Nadeau spoke about how women and men should strive to be “[their] own very best self” and that “your own healthy self looks different for everyone.”

She demonstrated how most advertisements today are based on a limited and distorted definition of beauty by playing a clip called “Dove Evolution.” This clip showed a model being airbrushed, altered and completely transformed through a computer program. Many in the audience were shocked to see the final photograph was completely different.

“It is about changing perceptions … it is time to change the conversation,” Nadeau said.

“You have way more to offer than your pant size,” Nadeau said.

She ended by encouraging everyone “not to pass judgment on any size” and to “change our community and respect others, starting with [ourselves].”

“She spoke with so much confidence and made me see that the media and conventional standards of beauty are really ridiculous and destructive,” Krissy Stewart ’13 said.

Nadeau is currently working as a freelance model for Dove. She plans to continue her “Embracing Real Beauty” speeches at other colleges and universities.

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