Beauty

Marsai Martin on Dove's Commitment to Never Use AI To Represent Real People in Ads

“Real beauty means showing your authentic, unapologetic self as a human.” — Marsai Martin

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Marsai Martin on Dove's Commitment to Never Use AI To Represent Real People in Ads

“Real beauty means showing your authentic, unapologetic self as a human.” — Marsai Martin

The rise of AI in the beauty world is undeniable and for many, it’s a constant battle between celebrating its innovation and acknowledging the unrealistic beauty standards it can project onto the world through curated images and content. AI has brought forward exciting opportunities to virtually try on beauty products, clothing, accessories and more to find what looks good with our spending money or leaving home. Yet, a simple scroll on social media can leave many feeling struck with comparison syndrome to the heavily curated images and lifestyles staring back at them on the screen.

For the past 20 years, Dove has centered itself as a brand that celebrates and showcases real people and real skin as a commitment to diversity, inclusion and creating community both online and in real life. The company is now taking it a step further by “re-committing itself to’real’ becoming the first beauty brand to commit to never using AI to represent real people in its advertising.”

Dove, Marsai Martin, AI, beauty, 20 years of real beauty, celebrities, real-beauty-prompt-guidelines

In fact, Dove’s new campaign, “The Code,” was created to show the impact that AI imagery has on women and to spotlight the importance “of women having the power to see real beauty reflected in new and emerging media.” In its research, the company found that, in the U.S., 42% of women of color would give up at least one year of their lives to achieve their beauty ideals. As a result, the brand is creating “Real Beauty Prompt Guidelines” to help everyone learn how to craft images that are more indicative of real people on popular AI platforms, as it estimates that by 2025, up to 90% of widespread imagery will be created by AI technology. Dove has also partnered with celebrities like Marsai Martin and Jessie J to encourage everyone to love themselves authentically and fight back against comparison syndrome.

Below, we speak to Marsai Martin about her partnership with Dove, the power of AI technology in beauty and the inevitable feelings of comparison when doom scrolling.

For more beauty news, check out our coverage of Pinterest’s body type image filter.

Dove, Marsai Martin, AI, beauty, 20 years of real beauty, celebrities, real-beauty-prompt-guidelines

On the importance of representing real people in its advertising

It was important for me to partner with Dove because of the simple fact that they strive to represent real beauty like no other. I always believe that beauty comes from within and then it exudes out, whether it’s from your hair, your fashion or your nails. To be able to work with them in this way is very beautiful. Also, I have AI conversations with my friends all the time. We’re talking about what that looks like, not just for us as young adults in a world of unrealistic pictures, but what does that look like for our future? To be able to have that conversation while also partnering up in this way is really cool.

On what “real beauty” means to her

Real beauty means showing your authentic, unapologetic self as a human. As humans, we have ups and downs and memories that are either good or bad and we show it within our personalities and within ourselves. You can look into somebody’s eyes and see how they’re feeling, their expressions and their personalities. That’s the beautiful thing about humanity. We can talk like this and be able to connect and that’s something that AI will never be able to capture in a sense. I believe that’s what real beauty is; showing somebody who they truly are and what they present to the world.

Dove, Marsai Martin, AI, beauty, 20 years of real beauty, celebrities, real-beauty-prompt-guidelines

On the possibility of using AI authentically in visual storytelling

AI is still relatively new. Obviously, we’re not  counting the fact that social media has been using filters and all  types of artificial intelligence for years now but it’s gradually becoming smarter. I feel like that’s the whole reason why we had a strike because they are trying to show this unrealistic curated version even in the entertainment industry. I came into the industry at a very young age to show young girls, Black women and everybody around the world what it truly means to be a Black girl fully authentic within herself in front of the camera and also behind it. All the other girls out there that want to be a part of this world in the industry can see that and truly believe in it.

On tips to avoid comparison syndrome while doom scrolling

I’m 19, we all doom scroll. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to not doom scroll. At the same time, I think that self-care is everything.  I would say to young girls or just anybody that needs to hear it, if you have a dream it doesn’t start with looking at your screens. It doesn’t start with watching social media and seeing  unrealistic and curated versions or aesthetics that people have within their pages that is not  real.

It’s what they want you to see, but it’s not real life. As soon as we get that in our heads, that’s when life begins. That’s when you find yourself, find the things that you like, going outside and seeing how other people strive and have real connections. That’s how you find what intrigues you and what you find interesting. From there, it puts you in a space where you truly can live unapologetically your way. If you want to strive for your future, you’ve got to get up and get moving. It doesn’t start on your phone.

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