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Quick: picture a “mom.” Fifty years ago, advertisers and their agencies envisioned a domestic dervish spinning through her kitchen, preparing supper with one hand while waxing the floor with the other—despite the fact that the place was already spotless. And they created ads reflecting that idyllic scene. Problem was, as everyone has since acknowledged, such depictions in no way represented the complexity of women’s everyday lives.
Fast forward to nine years ago, when Ogilvy & Mather’s groundbreaking “Real Beauty” campaign for Unilever’s Dove shifted the focus from stylized images of magazine-model beauty to emphasize how women of all shapes, sizes, colors and social strata really look and feel.