The controversy surrounding transgenderism and women’s sports has been a hot topic in the media and politics. But the debate has also played out in corporate advertising, as major brands like Target, Starbucks, and Bud Light raced to embrace the LGBT agenda.

Dove, the soap and personal care brand, boarded the rainbow train in 2021 when it praised Laurel Hubbard, a male weightlifter who competed as a woman in the Olympics. Dove posted on X, then Twitter: “History in the making. Congrats to Laurel! Here’s to more trans representation in sports.”

Perhaps that post wasn’t surprising three years ago, when more brands felt comfortable using social media to promote their ideologies. However, after this year’s Dove ad during the Super Bowl (the company’s first since 2015), Americans are left confused about where the soap giant actually stands.

Dove is currently trying to build a “body confidence in sports” campaign, using the hashtag #KEEPHERCONFIDENT. In the latest commercial, Dove featured only biological girls and capped off its message with a floating body bar blimp in Las Vegas and a banner that read, “Let’s help keep girls in sports.”

But has Dove changed its views on trans-identifying men in women’s sports? Or is it looking at the impact of these yearlong boycotts and thinking better of being Bud-Lighted? Some argue that’s still up for debate.

Riley Gaines, a former 12-time All-American NCAA swimmer, isn’t convinced that Dove’s stripes truly have changed, posting on X that this likely was an act to make more money.

“But even that is a stunning shift for corporate America, whose CEOs—until recently—have literally banked on their progressivism to win over customers,” said Suzanne Bowdey, editorial director and senior writer at Family Research Council’s The Washington Stand.

“Just one year after Bud Light’s collapse, companies like Rip Curl are actually offering public apologies for their trans activism,” Bowdey said. “Fed-up Americans are starting to realize they’re making an impact—and that’s not only motivating more consumers, it’s also forcing a sea change in the way major brands do business.”

Although Dove still has plenty of LGBT ties (it made a video at the end of 2023 to “shine a light on the stories and experiences of activists within the queer and trans communities”), this reversal is an indication of how radioactive the trans takeover of sports has become.

Dove spent money to make a statement about girls sports at the biggest football game in the world. The question, then, is why?

“I think what [we’re seeing] here is what happens when you’re not really interested in the truth,” Joseph Backholm, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for biblical worldview and strategic engagement, hypothesized.

The bottom line, Backholm pointed out, is the bottom line.

“Dove is trying to sell soap,” he said. “Sometimes they think the thing that will help them do that is celebrating women. Sometimes they think the thing that will do that is virtue-signaling on LGBT issues.”

Backholm said we see brands flip back and forth because “people who believe feelings determine truth are often comfortable holding contradictory positions if those positions, independently, make them feel virtuous.”

As for Dove’s 180 on transgenderism in sports, Backholm added: “I think the reason Dove chose to market to girls rather than the LGBT community in their Super Bowl ads is probably explained by economic interest. Women are a significantly larger market than men who think they’re women.”

“Given what has happened to Disney, Bud Light, and others in recent years,” he said, “Dove has probably decided they should avoid advertising campaigns that will destroy their stock price. It’s a rational decision.”

Originally published by The Washington Stand

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