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Dove Says Even Your Armpits Are Beautiful, Because Dove Loves You Unconditionally

3 minute read

Another day, another soapy Dove ad aiming to make women become more “body-positive.” This time they’re trying to convince women that their armpits are beautiful, because everything is beautiful, even your sweaty pits, and Dove is here to tell you about it because they’re you’re best friend! And they make deodorant.

Just watch this video of women reading a letter to their armpits.

“You can be a softer, smoother, more beautiful little armpit — you deserve our best care ever, and don’t you ever forget that.” Take out “armpit” and replace it with “woman,” and you get Dove’s basic philosophy.

Now imagine the waiting room advertising casting call: “You, sir, will be buying a new car! You, miss, will be reading a letter to your armpit.”

The worst part is the billboard, scheduled to appear in July, that will tell New Jersey residents they should be flattered that their state is often compared to an armpit. The billboards feature a confident blonde women giving innocent drivers a faceful of her super-groomed armpit. “Dear New Jersey,” the ad says, “When people call you ‘the Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.”

First of all, Dove just went from friend to frenemy. What kind of toxic passive-aggressive blather is that? That’s like saying “Dear Charlotte, When Sara from Bio called you a horse-faced bitch, take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Marissa K.”

Secondly, as a native of the Garden State, I would rather suffer that particular slur with the quiet dignity of a besieged martyr. Please don’t make us storm the streets, Les Miserables style, raising our arms against the injustice of armpit-slander.

That armpits are gross is one of the only remaining basic human truths: love is good, death is sad, chocolate is delicious and armpits are disgusting. Don’t take that away in the name of deodorant sales. Besides, I don’t want to “cherish” my armpits, I just want them to not smell horrible. Not having to think about how they look is one of the only good things about armpits. What’s next, armpit concealer?

I shudder to think what might happen if Dove moves to the lower half of our bodies in its quest to make us beautify each and every one of our parts. [h/t NYT]

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Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com