Unfortunately, beauty, self-esteem, and confidence have long been things women (not all, but many) struggle with. And being constantly bombarded with advertisements featuring beyond gorgeous women hasn’t helped the fight to make all women feel empowered.

Fortunately, several brands have taken it upon themselves to inspire women to feel a variety of positive emotions when it comes to the way they look, act and feel. While some may argue brands do this condescendingly, I think ads empowering women to see their true beauty, do whatever they want to do, and be noticed for who they are (and not what they look like), have and will continue to encourage and inspire women of all ages.

Let’s look at four advertising campaigns leading the way with empowering women and girls:

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Dove is arguably the leader in the movement to show a woman’s true beauty. In the business of helping women feel beautiful in their own skin for several years now, over the past year or so, Dove has released three powerful and emotion stirring videos.

Dove: Patches

The latest in Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, watch as these women experience the results of a beauty patch; a patch developed to enhance the way women perceive their own beauty.

I won’t spoil the ending for those of you who haven’t watched the video, but remember: feeling beautiful and confident starts on the inside.

And of course you’ve seen the Dove Real Beauty Sketches and Selfie videos, which also advocates for the inner beauty in all women; you just have to find it and believe in it.

Thank you, Dove, for inspiring young girls and women to own their beauty, perceived flaws and all. It’s about time this movement caught on.

#AerieREAL Campaign

Within the past five months or so, Aerie has ceased using photoshop to alter their (already) gorgeous models.

Retouching is a thing of the past for Aerie; they’re getting REAL with their #AerieREAL campaign.

aerie letter to girls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAHjSjbNA4I

Evident on all mediums, Aerie has really gotten REAL with this campaign. Just browse through their website, Facebook page, or Instagram. You’ll be met with encouraging words and examples of real women and real beauty.

Well done, Aerie.

COVERGIRL

For a makeup company, COVERGIRL has done an exceptional job at empowering women. While their #GirlsCan campaign is not directly aimed at helping women feel more beautiful in the traditional sense, it certainly speaks to women who have heard “girls can’t”.

Guess what world…

#GirlsCan

Sure, these are celebrities, but they’re celebrities who were told they can’t. However, that didn’t stop them.

Now more than ever, we need to remind women and girls they can do ANYTHING they want to do. And hey, if you’re wearing COVERGIRL, you’ll probably look good doing it!

Ban Bossy Campaign

Not a traditional ad campaign, this is a public service campaign brought to you by Lean In and the Girl Scouts of USA. The #banbossy campaign is rooted in the idea that too many girls avoid leadership roles for fear of being labeled “bossy.” In fact, the hesitation, avoidance, and lack of self-esteem begin as early as elementary school.

So instead of watching the number of women leaders drop, let’s encourage girls and women to want to lead.

Beyoncé says it best,

Ban-Bossy-Quote-Graphic_Beyonce
Image source: Ban Bossy

I can’t wait to see if this continues to gain momentum, and hopefully, society takes notice of this movement, too.

Kudos to the #banbossy team and supporters.

And if you would like to pledge to ban bossy, visit banbossy.com.

Four of the many campaigns empowering women to take ownership of their natural beauty and ability to do anything, these examples are a few of my favorites. A true feminist, as I’ve mentioned before, I can’t wait to see how this trend catches on and evolves.

Have you seen any empowering and encouraging ad campaigns featuring or directed at women and girls? Share them with us in the comments below.

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