Thursday, May 08, 2008

Apparently you can fool all the people all the time

At least that's the story making the rounds about Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign, which was praised to the skies by many FA bloggers and others. According to this story, those unretouched photos of beautiful-but-not-"perfect" women may actually have been, you know, retouched.

I got a good laugh out of the last line of the story:

If only for the excessive amount of self-righteousness that accompanied the PR effort surrounding this ad campaign, let's sincerely hope these retouching allegations are true.

As one of the commenters points out, the company that owns Dove also owns Slimfast. Corporate hypocrisy, anyone?


Anonymous said...

It's also worth noting that Unilever also promotes skin lightening products in Asia. For them, it's whatever message incites people to buy the most product.

Anonymous said...

When that campaign hit, I was kinda like, "real curves, eh?". So Big Moves put out our own version, which you can see (and buy!) by following the merch links at our web site...

I can personally attest that, other than smoothing the splice between the white poster space and the secondhand sheets that formed our backdrop, no photoshopping was done to this poster.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, yeaaahhhh.

And honestly, I never thought that they weren't Photoshopped.

Because, boyz and gurlz, they're advertisements!

And what were the ads for? Firming cream. (Not that someone else didn't point that out here on this very blog, I don't think.)

'Course it makes Unilever, Dove, and their agency a bunch of mealy-mouthed hypocrites in the name of Art, and Cleos, or whatever. But I hope no one is too surprised about that.

They don't just Photoshop to make limbs/bellies/faces, etc. smaller. They Photoshop to make things smoother, sharper, lighter ... pick your visual trait that gets you closer to the unattainable idea of beauty - here!

I just wasn't going to be the one torn to pieces for suggesting such heresy and blasphemy.

And thank Jeebus I never bought the stuff. I never liked Dove -- I'm an Aubrey girl, generally -- but I thought, "If the parent company takes out the urea and the parabens, I'd rather have a less expensive moisturizing cream, bump it -- I'll buy it."

They never did.

Anonymous said...

Colour me not surprised. Every single ad we see has been touched up. Every. Single. One.

Corporate hypocrisy indeed.

Juliet said...

When they started this campaign I knew it was bogus. Supposedly they are celebrating real beauty, but one of the first campaigns was about not trying to sell a firming cream using a size two model.

So while some of the messages out of said campaign have been good, I've always questioned their intentions and motives. I'm not surprised by this.

Anonymous said...

OT: Wow. For once the person who looks like me is the odd one out. I'm a lily-pale English girl, and all but one of those women is dark skinned or tanned.
All of a sudden I realise what people mean by wanting to see people who look like themselves in the media - the uncomfortable sensation of being the exception.
If they can make a middle-class Briton actually understand a little of what 'being a minority' is, maybe we need a few more adverts like that.
Only without the bloody Photoshopping. You can't call it 'real beauty' if you photomanipulate the pictures, stupid.

Rachel said...

I've been critical of the Dove campaign from the start. If they're so into using "real" women, why don't they use these "real" women for products other than anti-cellulite cream?

Dreaming again said...

These women in the campaign have been very active in their dove mother/daughter campaign promoting self esteem for being who you are at whatever size you are (small or large) They've done far more than just the cellulite cream.

I've already lost the link to it, but earlier this evening I was reading about the so called 'touch up's' that caused the stir. It wasn't to the photographs ...but to the article ...there was a dispute about what word for 'undergarments' to use. So there was extensive 'touching up' of the whole campaing based on how it was WRITTEN, not photographed.

I have a friend in advertising (got her masters from Tulsa University) she'd be more than happy to explain how campaigns are considered a whole unit rather than parts.

If anyone thinks they get even as much as a Walmart photograph package that is untouched, they need to talk to a photographer. Lights do terrible things to the human skin tone. When I had my photo taken for my authors picture for the back of my book, there were 64 pictures taken, and only 3 ones chosen as possibilities. They all recieved touch ups.

Touching up a photo, doesn't mean CHANGING it, it may mean making the picture look like the object that was photographed.