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Nivea's "Dare To Dip" - more "Dare To Strip (and then be ogled...)"?

(127 Posts)
ZebraOwl Sun 12-May-13 01:02:57

Was in Covent Garden yesterday & was a bit confused by the presence of a giant fishtank. Full of women. Whose heads you couldn't see, just their bodies. It drew a massive crowd. Mostly of men. Most of whom were taking photos &/or filming & a large number of whom were passing comment on the bodies of the women involved.

The Nivea Dare To Dip experience was (as far as I can make out) for women only. Already sexist there. You couldn't see the women's faces (apart from when when they hung over the top on command for publicity shots) so they were depersonalised in a way that makes perving over them seem more acceptable to a lot of people. After they came out of the pool they were sent (wrapped in not-overly-generous towels) to sit in a little seating area that was at ground level, just separated from the gawping masses by a little picket fence.

It really really did NOT feel this was about empowering women. At all. It will have generated lots of attention for the brand, as was their intent, but the women involved were being seriously leched over. When I walked past it on my own on my way to meet my friend a group of men were discussing who in the crowd they'd like to see in the pool (mixed views on me as they could see my "nice long legs" as I went past but they couldn't tell what my bust looked like because I was wearing a raincoat over a fleece) & another bloke was on the phone telling his mate to get over there to join the perving fun.

The whole atmosphere of the thing made me feel really pretty sick. The friend I was with when we went back past it on our way to the Opera House felt the same way. Both of us tweeted Nivea UK with our views but neither of us have had any reply despite the account being busy spewing out stuff related to the event.

Was I just being crazy-oversensitive, or do you think I was right to tell Nivea I'll not be buying their products again because they promote the objectification of women?

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 01:27:02

Weren't they really cold sitting around in towels today? It was pissing down at various points.

And how did they fix it so you couldn't see their heads when in the pool?

The whole thing sounds bizarre and horrendous. They put a bunch of women in a tank in the middle of covent garden? And this is supposed to be empowefulising? Bizarre.

ZebraOwl Sun 12-May-13 01:40:00

Basically, because of the way pool was set up where heads were was eclipsed by safety rail. Which couldn't possibly be transparent as made of foam, according to participant who had a lengthy rant (passive-aggressive & incredibly patronising) rant at me on Twitter. I got fed up with being bombarded so I blocked her.

ZebraOwl Sun 12-May-13 01:40:55

Obvs foam could indeed not be transparent, but pool could have been designed very differently!

Darkesteyes Sun 12-May-13 02:41:39

Nivea must have known what would happen. They do sponsor This Morning though which is a steaming pile of mysogynistic shite but this is something else. How the hell was this empowering for women FFS.

ZebraOwl Sun 12-May-13 03:03:55

Friend I was with's written an excellent blog post about it.

Whole thing really was just grim.

mirai Sun 12-May-13 03:14:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeiTetua Sun 12-May-13 05:00:21

It most likely came out of an ad agency's brainstorming session, where the question was "Unilever's Dove brand is getting loads of publicity with their apparently innovative ideas; what can we do to get Nivea talked about?"

These people are not feminists. Money money money is their objective.

MakesCakesWhenStressed Sun 12-May-13 06:49:54

Great blog post

KoreRenati Sun 12-May-13 11:33:40

Brilliant blog post.

mirai It's not subtle is it?

ZebraOwl Sun 12-May-13 12:04:51

Apparently a participant opposes the views of La Soupe & myself here - am not going to bother reading myself tbh: I know I get a mention had enough pass-agg patronisation last night to last several lifetimes. Normally I get patronised because I look young and/or because I'm using a wheelchair, nice change to be patronised for not thinking that objectifying women is super-awesome confused

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 12:19:26

OMG the photos!

If you want to put a bunch of nearly naked women in a glass tank for men people to ogle then that is one thing.

Doing that and pretending it is an empowering feminist activity is just taking the fucking piss.

ZebraOwl Sun 12-May-13 12:24:28


If Nivea really wanted to do this they should've offered free swims at local pools or something.

Women wandering about tube stations in bikinis is not empowering women any more than draping them over cars at car shows is!

Mugofteaforme Sun 12-May-13 12:26:34

Ask the people in the tank if they feel empowered. Empowerment is a personal thing. I think personally that it sounds a lot of fun, actually very liberating (although I'm an occasional naturist). Of course Women (and Men) are objectified. Sexual attraction is one of the strongest forces of nature so it's likely we've all "objectified" someone at one time of another as physical attraction is paramount to partner selection. I do agree they should have had the chaps in there too that would have been a giggle smile

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 12-May-13 12:28:26

What a hideous campaign shock

If you want a dictionary definition of "objectifying women" then all you have to do is look at that fishtank!

Spot on.

Your friend's blog is great, Zebra. I just read the other blog you linked to and I think what the author misses is that this was a stunt in a very public space - a space we all have to share - the effect goes much wider than just on the participants so it's not just their opinion that counts. It's the same as when there's an argument about p.3 and someone always pipes up that it's only the models' opinion that counts. hmm

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 12-May-13 12:30:51

Ha, x-post Mugoftea grin

The other blog said that men and women could join but I haven't seen a single pic of men in the tank, just lots of men looking at the tank. How strange.

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 12:59:15

I did the Nivea thing yesterday

Couple of minor corrections:

1. It was open to all sexes. My husband was even asked if he wanted to join in but declined as he was holding my child.

2. Passive aggressive or not, a safety rail is a safety rail. (And pot/kettle to patronising, as you started off by saying the event was 'foul' and we were 'set up' to be 'ogled'.)

3. You aren't going to bother reading the experience of someone who went through it, for your own mistaken opinion? For instance, in your friend's posts she posits:

- Women only. False, men were invited.
- Only bikinis mentioned - why? More salacious. However, more tank suits than 2 pieces.
- No 'nasty fat women'? - I'm 275 lbs. You can clearly see that in my post.
- No heads, just bodies? Really. My head must have been detached when I was underwater, waving to my kid.

Interesting. So, anything that challenges your personal narrative isn't allowed. Good to know.

4. I wasn't 'twisting her words', I really couldn't tell what the hell she was talking about when she called out the greek tourists from all the apparently ogling men. But way to make yourself the martyr about a word while ignoring the other obvious things you got wrong. How about correcting the fatties paragraph, or the women only?

5. I agree with PlentyofPubeGardens - everyone's opinion is important. But an informed opinion carries a great deal bit more of importance to me than someone who yells I AM OFFENDED BECAUSE OF X, and when is told, by a participant, that they may have some facts wrong, not only rectifies the facts, but refuses to even see another person's side...well, that's a bit closed minded to me, no?


weenwee Sun 12-May-13 13:02:42

* correction: refuses to rectify facts.

TheCrackFox Sun 12-May-13 13:07:28

If men were invited did any take part?

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 13:12:11

I couldn't tell you, TheCrackFox. My bit was only for 10 minutes. I know there weren't any men just before or after me, but after I did the interview I had to rush off (kid diaper emergency!)

However, I will ask this: If you invite 10 people to coffee of various races, and only folks of your race show up, are you somehow racist? Doubtful. Yet, if few men (or even no men) rocked up and jumped in even though all were invited to apply, that's apparently sexist. Weird.

CoalDustWoman Sun 12-May-13 13:14:02

The whole thing is aimed at women, so why would men take part?

Shea, why did you do it? You don't need to answer, of course, but I'd love to know having had some interesting discussions after seeing The Full Monty stage show recently.

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 13:25:37

CoalDustWoman: I'll tell you exactly what I told the Nivea crew that interviewed me (and they had to interview me 2x as my kid was crawling on me first time!):

"I am finally healed from my horrific pregnancy and birth, and want to reclaim my body from medicine. I am making a stand to get healthy so that I can keep up with my amazing 2 year old, and wanted this to be a very literal splash into my project. I don’t care about corporate definitions of beauty, but I want to keep my fabulous spirit for the next 40+ years, and I cannot do that in this body. So, I need to make a healthy change, and that begins today."

As I mentioned in my blog, the lady who had 15 years on me did it because she was inspired by Gok Won's 'look good naked' shows. The two younger girls in our foursome did it as a gf bonding experience.

TheCrackFox Sun 12-May-13 13:31:37

Did you get paid for it?

Nivea is a huge multinational company and should have paid you.

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 13:36:44

TheCrackFox: No, I didn't get paid (I got a bunch of products). They said "Want to take a dip in a giant pool, we'll give you some swag" and a bunch of people said "yeah, sounds fun." Just like every other viral marketing campaign, ever. If I thought I should have been paid, I would have not signed up, as I knew it wasn't a paying thing. Just like when I posed for Spencer Tunick, you aren't paid except you get a signed artist's print at the end of it. I did it because I wanted an experience out of it.

TheCrackFox Sun 12-May-13 13:45:10

They used to pay their models. Win/win campaign for a gigantic multi million pound corporation.

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