The Actual Message
Being beautiful is good, being ugly is bad. Shame on you women for being bad. Bad girls.
In Dove's eyes, beauty and self-worth are inextricably tied together. You can't get one without the other, like a beautiful one-person human centipede that fuels itself on good feelings. Sorry, that analogy got away from me before I even got to "centipede." The point is that the logic behind this commercial is that these women deserve to feel better about themselves, not because they're good people or smart or seconds away from writing the perfect human centipede analogy, but because they're not as ugly as they think they are. That's it. That's what the women in this commercial have to offer the world in Dove's eyes, which is stupid, because I'm pretty sure Dove could have picked up on at least five new ways to tie oversized scarves if they'd just paid enough attention to the women they were drawing.
This whole ad campaign is Dove's way of shaming women for describing themselves as unattractive, because unattractive is Dove's version of bad. That's why you never see women with interesting birthmarks, crossed eyes, missing teeth, or tiny mustaches in their ads. And also probably why they don't actually include any overweight people in their Real Beauty ads. And why they sell anti-cellulite cream for all the fatties out there.
Pictured: Women who look great in their underwear.