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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?

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 13:48:34

Let me ask you a question:

Mumsnet Blogger has a product review group. You review a product (generally favorably) giving it fantastic SEO exposure and you get to keep the product. Would you argue that Disney should also pay reviewers? They are a huge multinational company after all, and probably getting a kickback from the company offering the product. Why not be angry at Mumsnet/Disney?

Because you read the T&C of course, and if you don't like them, you don't do them.

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 13:53:20

I'm off to Mother's Day (expat parenting, double holidays!), but if anyone would like to reach me, you can email me - (and I'll bookmark this thread to come back to later tonight). smile

ZebraOwl Sun 12-May-13 14:42:45

But according to Nivea's press release this was an event for women. Their Facebook page makes it quite clear Dare To Dip is for women, too.

mirai Sun 12-May-13 15:11:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

3leftfeet Sun 12-May-13 15:47:46

Having attended both days in Covent Garden working alongside this campaign I would just like to say how fantastic it actually was. Every single person who went into the tank were there because they wanted to be there. Having spoken to most of the ladies who went into the tank, every single one loved the experience.

Before people start to belittle and badge the whole campaign as sexist, do some research. This was about women feeling comfortable with their bodies as we begin to lose our winter woolies as the summer (hopefully) arrives. There were women of all shapes, sizes, ages and races in the tank. If this was to have been set up as a shameless perv-fest then the tank would have been filled with size 6, 36DD fake plastic chested models.

Having spent a period of time in with the crowds, I'd say it was an even split. Not once was a derogatory comment directed at the girls in the tank and each group got a fantastic round of applause.

I can also confirm that the tank isn't fish tank. I thought this would have been obvious by the distinct lack of fish swimming in it. I am certain this is the tank used on a Sky One game show and Britain's Got Talent last year for Aquabatique's performance. The tank won't have been built by Nivea, it was just unfortunate that the water line was the same height as the safety foam. Yes - there could have been less water but then it would have been a paddling pool. Also the Aquabatique swimmers could not have performed.

It really is a shame that some people feel this was a negative event. What reason is there for women not to show off their bodies for a few minutes in order to feel empowered? They were individuals who wanted to do this. Just because some people can't handle a bit of fun, don't go slagging off the event or the brand. If you don't like it, walk on by. Don't buy Nivea products again. They wont miss you. Just don't assume that you can take a position on your high horse and depict this whole campaign as something it wasn't.

For every woman who did dare to dip, well done. You all looked great and keep smiling! Remember, you swam in the middle of Covent Garden. You showed off you body and people clapped, cheered and wooped! Finally, as this is Mumsnet, you will all be pleased to know that there was at least one pregnant who jumped in, and she was stunning!

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 16:04:29

Well, let's see - when they called me to see if I wanted to do it, I asked if my husband could jump with me, and they enthusiastically said 'yes!'. Then our babysitter fell through, which is when we rocked up they asked if again, he wanted to do it, but he said no, he'd just cheer with our kid. And, again, if you read the T&Cs, still on the facebook signup page, it in no way shape or form says women only. I'm sure they assumed a lot of women would want to try it, but the whole 'no men' angle? Doesn't wash with my own two eyes and ears.

3leftfeet - your staff was amazing, from start to finish you were all terribly kind, answering all our questions, asking us along the way how we felt, and taking care of us afterwards. (And those heat lamps in the umbrella area were fab, I wanted to take one home!). Your support staff of camera women and men were also exceedingly kind. So, thanks for that! As I can see on twitter and facebook, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Thanks again.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 16:24:55

"What reason is there for women not to show off their bodies for a few minutes in order to feel empowered? "

You have to ask?


NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 16:25:51

It's this choice bollocks isn't it.

The idea that any choice any woman makes anywhere must be a feminist choice because the person making it is female.

Such patent bollocks.

AnyFucker Sun 12-May-13 16:30:37

Just like the Dove bollocks, it is utterly patronising bullshit

CoalDustWoman Sun 12-May-13 16:45:08

Thanks for answering, Shea. I must be a bit dense, but I still don't get it. What power do you and the other women have now that you didn't a couple of days ago?

And it is explicitly aimed at women on th fb page, isn't it? Or am I missing the ads for men?

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 16:47:15

Just as bollocks as the idea that if a woman makes a choice for herself that someone doesn't approve of, it can be negated with a wave of 'not feminism/empowering'.

As if there are self-appointed arbitrators of what is and isn't feminism for everyone.

As if anyone has to then defend their actions to the arbitrators, lest they be branded as colluding with the enemy.

Utter. Bollocks.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 12-May-13 16:48:51

What Nice Tabard said.

Patronising bullshit. Why should women have to show off their bodies to be empowered? And why are you calling them 'girls' FFS?

Sunnywithshowers Sun 12-May-13 16:49:29

I'm glad you enjoyed it weenwee (x post) but as feminists can't speak for all women, neither can you.

AnyFucker Sun 12-May-13 16:51:23

and neither can Nivea (or more precisely which of the small number of predominantly male-run, misogynist corporations own Nivea)

Sunnywithshowers Sun 12-May-13 16:54:17

3leftfeet I'm sure Nivea would be delighted that you're saying this
Don't buy Nivea products again. They wont miss you. to potential customers.

YoniTime Sun 12-May-13 16:56:00

What's empowering about this? To show off your body for the sake of advertising a brand and not getting paid for it - how does it give women power?

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 16:56:25

Is part of the idea that men are going to stare / ogle / judge women for their looks & bodies

And if you can't stop them doing that, then by inviting them to do it and "getting in first" so to speak, you are wresting the power from them, and hence are empowered?

Thinking about this phrase that if women want to take their clothes off and "show off" their bodies then why not.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 16:57:34

So is the idea that when I was a teenager, and felt disempowered when men stared, groped, or made lewd comments, the empowering response to that would have been to take my clothes off?

I am a bit perplexed.

TheCrackFox Sun 12-May-13 16:59:37

Getting a degree = empowering
Learning to drive = empowering
Getting a job = empowering
Swimming in a fish tank in Coventry Garden = not so much.

chibi Sun 12-May-13 17:02:59

at least one pregnant what took part?



weenwee Sun 12-May-13 17:06:10

Sunnywithshowers - damn right. I'm not speaking for anyone but myself. But I'll be damned if I sit back and watch an event I was a part of, and me with it, get slagged off not only on partial info (the 'no fatties were there!' when I am clearly larger was a special sort of bullshit), and then ignores clear, factual Not going to happen. Not sitting down for that.

You (royal you) can happily say "I wouldn't be a part of it", and I'd have said "Okay, glad you didn't do it". But this OMGTHEYWERETOTALLYOBJECTIFIEDGUISE when many, many people on fb/twitter/right here have said "no, I actually had a really wonderful time", it negates our opinion and voice. And that is unfair.

Feminism, empowerment, whatever you want to call it - it's different for each person. Hell, some feminists could take umbrage with the fact that this forum is called Mumsnet, as if our essence could be distilled to one function of our life. But do we all boycott it? No. And why?


I can drive a car.
I have a bachelors and MBA.
I own my own business.
And I decided to not let the horrific birth and physical hell I went through the last 2 years take away the thing I used to love to do, swim, and I made damn sure my return to the water was a big thing.
All of those things, to me, were accomplishments.

And to hell with anyone who says otherwise because they 'know better'. That's bullshit misogyny in feminism's clothing.

You don't want to hear my story? Fine. You don't want to see my pictures where CLEARLY I wasn't ogled? Great. You want to follow the narrative that gets you nice and angry on a Sunday versus asking participants and trying to understand their reasons? Knock yourself out. But don't be surprised when those strong women (and I heard some of their stories from their lips, they are strong) don't take kindly to your patronizing bullshit.

weenwee Sun 12-May-13 17:12:27

CoalDustWoman - sorry, didn't see your response. I was really, really insecure post baby about my very large size and physical issues (really, really traumatic birth that did a number on me internally as well as externally), but screwed up my courage and did something I loved to do but haven't been able to for quite a long time, take a dip in a pool. And, I got to do it in a grand, supportive environment. So, for me, that was a great big 'Hell yeah' to what I've gone through the last 2 years.

For someone else, it was an entirely different reason. For some, it may have been (gasp) just a fun thing to do. It's almost as if each one of us came to it with a different reason, and took something distinct away from it. Crazy, I know! It's almost as if we're all different beings with different needs and choices.

AnyFucker Sun 12-May-13 17:14:32

Ween, I can see you might have had a fun day out. It wouldn't be for me, but hey, horses for courses etc

But to say this stuff is "empowering" is really very silly indeed. And a measure of how the media brainwashes all of us.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 17:14:48

It's that divine comedy song

"Generation Sex
The rights
Of girls
Who want to take their clothes off
As long as we can all watch
That's OK"

MiniTheMinx Sun 12-May-13 17:17:17

I agree with NiceTabbard, ONLY women are sold the idea that stripping off in public is empowering. When are corporations going to catch on that creating insecurity in men will open up new avenues. Isn't that how it works? make people feel insecure and then market a wonder product to treat this affliction. I won't be buying Nivea.

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