Personal care brand Dove is known for its campaign for real beauty, encouraging women to be confident and feel comfortable in their own skin. The Canadian division of the brand is now targeting the people that contribute to women not feeling confident: the graphic designers, photo retouchers and art directors that manipulate our perceptions of beauty by changing women’s shapes in advertising.
The Retouching Campaign, by Ogilvy Toronto, involved creating a fake Photoshop function, free to download, which was advertised as a ‘beautify’ tool that adds a skin glow to any picture in the editing program. However, once the user presses the button, it actually undoes all changes that have been made to the picture.
While the hack is in line with Dove’s message of promoting true beauty, it is also complicated to implicate graphic designers and retouchers, when it is a whole industry that is at fault for promoting altered images of women’s bodies. Even Dove has previously been implicated in the very behavior they deplore, reportedly retouching images in the Real Beauty campaign.
The fake function is part of a larger social campaign in Canada called #DovePositiveChange, which includes a new Facebook app that allows women to replace negative ads with ‘words of affirmation.’
Watch the video to see the Photoshop hack in action: