As Artificial Intelligence (AI) threatens the representation of real beauty today, Dove is the first beauty brand to commit to never using AI to represent real people in its advertising

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., April 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — 20 years ago, Dove showed the world what beauty looks like when it’s real. In 2004, it began with a startling truth; only 2% of women globally considered themselves beautiful. Since then, Dove has been dedicated to taking action to make a positive experience with beauty accessible to everyone by challenging society, media and the beauty industry itself to widen its representation, be transparent about digital distortion, and face-up to the harmful impact unrealistic beauty standards have on women and girls.

To mark 20 years of championing real beauty, Dove conducted a new sweeping study to understand the state of beauty around the world today. While there has been some positive change, two decades later, the state of beauty in 2024 isn’t pretty.

The outsized value society places on appearance has intensified the pressure to be a certain type of beautiful. In its 2024 The Real State of Beauty: a global report, Dove finds over 1 in 3 women in the US would give up a year of their life to achieve an ideal look or body. The study shows that while beauty ideals have evolved over the years to be more inclusive across race, orientation, gender and size, the checklist of appearance ideals is growing and impossible to meet – from looking healthy (81%) to also being slim (72%) and having a small waist (69%) while also being curvy (59%).

In fact, 2 in 3 women believe that women today are expected to be more physically attractive than their mother’s generation was. As society and technology progresses, pressures to look a certain way are coming from all fronts.

Today, almost 9 in 10 women and girls say they have been exposed to harmful beauty content online. One of the biggest threats to the representation of real beauty is Artificial Intelligence. With 90% of the content online expected to be AI-generated by 2025, the rise of AI is a threat to women’s wellbeing, with 1 in 3 women feel pressure to alter their appearance because of what they see online, even when they know it’s fake or AI generated. 

While AI has the potential to foster creativity and access to beauty, with 1 in 4 women (24%) and almost 2 in 5 girls (41%) in the US agreeing that being able to create different versions of yourself using AI is empowering, there is still an urgent need for greater representation and transparency in content created by AI.

“Despite 20 years of work to broaden definitions of beauty, women feel less confident in their own beauty than they did a decade ago,” explains Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs, Research Psychologist at the Centre of Appearance Research at the University of West England and body image expert. “Representation is more important than ever. As AI technology continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between what is real beauty and what is manufactured by AI.”      

Today, women and girls overwhelmingly agree that real beauty means being authentic, who you are, and embracing our differences.

In line with the last two decades, Dove will continue taking action to dismantle toxic beauty standards until beauty is a source of happiness and confidence, not anxiety, for everyone. Dove will continue to stand for “real,” and champion transparency and diversity in beauty by becoming the first beauty brand to commit to never using AI in place of real people in its advertising.

To help set new digital standards of representation, Dove has created the Real Beauty Prompt Guidelines – easy to use guidance on how to create images that are more representative of Real Beauty on the most popular generative AI programs, for anyone that chooses to explore this new technology.

“At Dove, we seek a future in which women get to decide and declare what real beauty looks like – not algorithms. As we navigate the opportunities and challenges that come with new and emerging technology, we remain committed to protect, celebrate, and champion Real Beauty. Pledging to never use AI in our communications is just one step. We will not stop until beauty is a source of happiness, not anxiety, for every woman and girl,” explains Alessandro Manfredi, Chief Marketing Officer, Dove

New Dove campaign, The Code, reflects the impact of AI on beauty and sheds light on the importance of women having the power to see real beauty reflected in new and emerging media.

The campaign will also be supported by an inspiring cast of empowering women across generations – singer and actor Reba McEntire, TV host, actress and entrepreneur Drew Barrymore, actor Beanie Feldstein, and actress and executive producer Marsai Martin, to name a few – who will lend their voices and stories to raise awareness and celebrate real beauty. 

The work Dove began in 2004 is far from over. Dove will never stop championing better representation, taking action to break beauty stereotypes, and standing up for the power of Real Beauty. We can’t drive change alone. Together, let’s change beauty.

Learn more and join us to #KeepBeautyReal at or on social @Dove.

About the new research: 2024 The Real State of Beauty: a global report

Online survey conducted by Edelman DXI (Data x Intelligence), a global, multidisciplinary research, analytics, and data consultancy, in November / December 2023. This 25-minute survey was completed in 20 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, KSA, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Türkiye, the USA, and the UK.

Researchers spoke with more than 33,000 respondents: 19,306 respondents aged between 18 to 64 years old (14,673 women, 3,776 men*) and 14,292 respondents aged 10 to 17 years old (9,475 girls, 4,753 boys*). 

15 experts ranging from academic experts to consultants on body image and activists in the field were consulted on the research questions and outputs, and we ensured the survey was representative of various subgroups e.g. people with larger bodies, disabilities, mental health conditions, LGBTQ+ people and people of colour.

All interviews were conducted in local languages and dialects, with only appropriate questions asked in each market and the methodology was consistent with the level of national online penetration required to avoid sampling bias.

*Note: Other gender identities and non-binary respondents were surveyed but are not reported due to the limited sample sizes.

About Dove   

Dove started its life in 1957 in the US, with the launch of the Beauty Bar, with its patented blend of mild cleansers and ¼ moisturizing cream. Dove’s heritage is based on moisturization, and it is proof not promises that enabled Dove to grow from a Beauty Bar into one of the world’s most beloved beauty brands.

Women have always been our inspiration and since the beginning, we have been wholly committed to providing superior care to all women and to championing real beauty in our advertising. Dove believes that beauty is for everyone. That beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. Dove’s mission is to inspire women everywhere to develop a positive relationship with the way they look and realize their personal potential for beauty.

For more than 65 years, Dove has been committed to broadening the narrow definition of beauty in the work they do. With the ‘Dove Real Beauty Pledge,’ Dove vows to: 

  • Portray women with honesty, diversity and respect. We feature women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair color, type, and style.
  • Portray women as they are in real life, with zero digital distortion and all images approved by the women they feature.
  • Help young people build body confidence and self-esteem through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, the biggest provider of self-esteem education in the world.

About Dove Self-Esteem Project

As the world’s leading provider of self-esteem education for girls, Dove continues to support girls wherever their self-esteem is at stake and ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with how they look. Since 2004, Dove has reached over 100 million young people globally, in over 150 countries through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, with a goal of reaching 250M young lives by 2030.

About Unilever in North America

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition and Ice Cream products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. We have 127,000 employees and generated sales of €59.6 billion in 2023.

Our leading brands in North America include Dove, Hellmann’s, Vaseline, Degree, Axe, TRESemmé, Knorr, Magnum, Ben & Jerry’s, Nutrafol, Liquid I.V., Paula’s Choice, and Dermalogica.

For more information on Unilever U.S. and its brands visit:

For more information on Unilever Canada and its brands visit:

Samantha Colton ([email protected])



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