Dove Real Beauty

It is commonly known that Photoshop is widely used to touch up and edit cover models.  Everything from minor blemishes to the “slimming” of limbs and full blown transformations.

This aspect of the industry has been mocked before with the likes of Fotoshop By Adobé, but now Dove are actively trying to do something about it with their campaign promoting and celebrating Real Beauty.

By planting a disguised “Beautify” skin glow effect to directly impact those who retouch the photos, such as art directors and graphic designers, the  Photoshop Action actually reverts the image back to the original unedited state.

Whilst this is no doubt a cunning and creative way to impact the retouching of photos, the scheme has come under some criticism that it isn’t targetting the right people.  Ultimately graphic designers and such are the ones who are doing the editing, but more often than not they are simply doing a job.  Their client is the one calling the shots and paying for the contract or project.

The underlying message from Dove is one of being happy with true beauty and making the point that Real Beauty isn’t retouched, but perhaps aiming their creativity at the real culprits would be more worthwhile.

Via Design Taxi.

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7 Responses to “Dove Real Beauty”


  1. 1 brinkjewelry March 14, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this web site needs much more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!

  2. 2 belovedmusephotography March 15, 2013 at 4:43 am

    A really great way to ostracize members of your customer base. I use actions AND love models to look like real people.

    I also frequently photograph newborns and damn it all if I don’t photoshop their skin to make it perfect. Extreme photoshopping is one thing, but skin beautifying? What’s next, women aren’t allowed to wear make-up or bras that will alter their ‘natural’ appearance?

  3. 3 making cosmetics March 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to
    keep a reader entertained. Between your wit
    and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more
    than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  4. 4 jshewett March 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    What a hot topic! I love it. I’ve been the recipient of some pretty extreme photoshop work, and just by a family portrait photographer! I felt that the “end result” didn’t look like me and the feeling that I still get when I look at the picture are difficult to put into words. I wonder if these models go through similar ones when they see one of their campaigns. At any rate, I feel that there is a NEED for photoshop in the advertising industry. Sometimes the lighting is just off or the pose looks a tad weird and photoshop can help to make what would be an unusable image into a winning campaign, but I also thing that it’s overused these days. Ultimately though, it’s the consumer that drives these images being altered so heavily. Why can’t Dove fund a healthy image campaign in schools, or make a show about that? Instead, they wasted money, and a good opportunity, on people that really aren’t responsible for the photoshop epidemic.

    Thank you for your post, I look forward to hearing more from you!

    • 5 inspirationalgeek April 2, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Thanks for your comment – Agreed! Photoshop is software as a tool to perhaps add an effect or convert colours to a black and white shot etc. As you say it can adjust lighting to make an image perfectly usable whereas it might not have been before.

      I think the general consensus has been that it is a good campaign, but needs re-directing to the people who are responsible for driving the changes of extreme body manipulation in Photoshop and not the ones who are doing a job and just as they are told!

  5. 6 linamillermodeling April 2, 2013 at 5:35 am

    As a model… I do not like being changed by photoshop. I understand that some people want to add shimmer or glow or even old sepia tones to the photo and thats fine, artistic even. But to change the shape of my legs or my stomach is an insult in itself.
    On another note, I do agree, they are targeting the wrong people with this effect. The ones who retouch are usually doing a specific job they were asked to do.

    • 7 inspirationalgeek April 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Indeed I think a good use of Photoshop is in adding a glow or colour effects, but it is reassuring to hear direct from a model that you also find it a negative attribute that the software is being used so extremely to alter body parts.

      I think the general consensus has been that it is a good campaign, but needs re-directing to the top level people!


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