Dove's 'Beauty Patch' Makes Women Feel Gorgeous but There's a Catch (VIDEO)

beauty patchWhat if you could take a drug that would make you more beautiful -- or at least feel more beautiful? A new Dove ad teases that question with RB-X, a "beauty" patch. As part of a clinical trial, women wear the patch and keep a video diary recording their thoughts about how they feel from day to day. Will they soak up something from that patch that changes how they look?

Well, because this is Dove, you know there's going to be a twist in there, somewhere. Remember the Dove ad that compares how women see themselves with how a stranger sees them? The twist has to do with women discovering the beauty they had all along. Can you guess what happens?


Not much happens at first. But eventually the women report changes:

On Day 10 a woman (who looks like a young Phoebe Cates, for cryin' out loud) says, "I feel beautiful no matter if I'm sick, tired, or the fact that there's a pimple on my nose."

On Day 13 another woman says, "I felt very comfortable in my skin today."

On Day 15 another woman says incredulously, "I went dress shopping today!" She never would have done that before the patch.

After the experiment the women reported feeling like they'd had a life-changing experience -- they were more daring with their looks, and they felt like they had uncovered a more confident part of themselves. And then the researcher reveals what's really in the patch: Nothing.

Ah-hah! It's the power of a placebo, my friends. And it could work on the smartest of us. Just one simple psychological device to help us shift our perspective for the better.

So I understand the overall message here, and how transforming this experience would be for these women. I do cringe for them just a little bit. I think I'd feel a bit silly if I'd participated in the experiment only to find out the patch was a placebo. Oh Dove, playing a tricks on women again! You! (Wagging my finger at them.)

But we know Dove means well (and, of course, they're a company that sells self-care products). It's to these women's credit that no one gets mad and throws the table over. But if I were there, I think in addition to feeling silly, I'd be wondering a few things. Did I really need this patch to turn around how I feel about myself? How much of beauty is something I feel inside and project outward? Does feeling more beautiful make me actually look more beautiful?

These are questions we sometimes ask anyway. The patch experiment just gives us another way to ask those questions. I'm not going to get all righteous and say how other people see us doesn't matter to us, because it actually does matter to most of us, whether we want to admit it or not. But I think it's interesting to think about how much our beauty depends on how we see ourselves and how we bring that out.

How much of beauty do you think is something you project from the inside out?


Image via DoveUnitedStates/YouTube

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