Dove, trying to appeal to a younger audience, has a new “Real Moms” ad campaign, and it features a transgender woman.
The ad showcases a diverse spectrum of mothers — parents of all races, with differing careers, and sexual orientations — and begins with the text: “Moms are redefining what it means to be a ‘good mom.’ ”
After introducing a stay-at-home mother and a mom who works as a cattle rancher, the soap brand featured a couple, both of whom identify as mothers, raising their biological newborn son.
“We are both his biological parents,” Shea, a transgender woman, says. “You get people that are like, ‘What do you mean? You’re the mom?’ We’re like, ‘Yep. We’re both gonna be moms.’ ”
“There’s no one right way to do it all,” Shea later adds.
The Mombian blog, which provides “sustenance for lesbian moms,” praised the Dove commercial’s apparent willingness to deny the existence of any clear-cut rules of good parenting.
“I love the campaign’s overall theme of ‘There’s no right or wrong way to be a mom — only your way,’ ” Dana Rudolph wrote. “As one of the other moms in the ad says, ‘Do what fits your family. And trust yourself.’ That’s pretty much the best parenting advice I can imagine.”
This latest ad from Dove seems to be part of a broader shift away from defining mothers as those who are biologically female.
The campaign comes a few months after the British Medical Association urged staff and representatives not to refer to pregnant patients as “expectant mothers” because the term might be offensive to transgender and intersex men.
The suggestion was featured in a BMA pamphlet titled, “A Guide to Effective Communication: Inclusive Language in the Workplace.”
“A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women,” it read. “We can include intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers.’”
Transgender men are those who are born biologically female, with female anatomy, but choose to identify as men.
According to the association’s guide, making assumptions regarding the “traditional ideas about the roles of women and men” leads to “gender inequality.”