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Does Retouching Ruin Dove's Message?

Does Retouching Ruin Dove's Message?

This week's issue of the New Yorker has a great story about Pascal Dangin, one of the world's foremost digital retouchers. One of the interesting tidbits: the Dove "real beauty" campaign that featured regular women was heavily retouched by Dangin. While I'm not shocked — the women's skin looked suspiciously perfect in the ads — it's nonetheless a little bit depressing. Do you think the accept-yourself message still works, or is it less powerful to you now?

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jenanicole jenanicole 7 years
Honestly, I can look at those photos and tell that they didn't 'thin' these girls out much, if at all... Yeah, they might have made their skin look flawless, but their trying to sell products made to make your skin look 'perfect'.I appreciate the fact that these women are many shapes and sizes, and none of them are 'Heroine Chic', like most models in today's limelight.
jenanicole jenanicole 7 years
Honestly, I can look at those photos and tell that they didn't 'thin' these girls out much, if at all... Yeah, they might have made their skin look flawless, but their trying to sell products made to make your skin look 'perfect'. I appreciate the fact that these women are many shapes and sizes, and none of them are 'Heroine Chic', like most models in today's limelight.
moxierain moxierain 8 years
It doesn't really matter to me if Dove uses "real women" or skinny models. Or if it retouches them. Even I airbrush my personal photos just because it makes me look better. The Dove ads have never appealed to me. I saw it for what it was when they first came out, it was about marketing. That's all they cared about.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 8 years
I can't tell whether the retouching was to make the women look better or worse. I mean, were the women made to look bigger? Because I can't see any "improvements".
tatsauce tatsauce 8 years
This is an ad after all and ads used to sell products. You want to use the product so it'll make you look good. They have to make the models look good to create the illusion, that you too can look this good. I'm pleased with the fact that models' bodies are real but I wouldn't mind seeing stretch mark here and there. Viva la Stretch Mark!
treble8705 treble8705 8 years
well.. I think that the women in the ad wouldn't have agreed to be in the commercial if they weren't going to do a little bit of retouching, considering the ongoing battle against cellulite and all the other crap that you have to deal with..
TFS TFS 8 years
yes it does. i retouched a few of their advertizing campaignes and they told me to "make them slimmer". hmm
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Wait, do we know that the photos were actually retouched? I thought Dove issued a statement saying they weren't...I'm confused...I suppose if they were it WOULD be hypocritcal because the whole point of the campaign is that real women are beautiful. So, obviously retouching would be hypocritical. The thing is, even if they didn't retouch, they chose women with nice figures (no matter their size) and without cellulite. So the message just becomes, "as long as you have perfectly smooth skin and a proportional figure, you are beautiful and acceptable." This is better than the normal messages we get bombarded with, but still, I don't have smooth skin, I have acne, so this ad still makes me fail to feel beautiful. They should just give up. :)
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Wait, do we know that the photos were actually retouched? I thought Dove issued a statement saying they weren't...I'm confused... I suppose if they were it WOULD be hypocritcal because the whole point of the campaign is that real women are beautiful. So, obviously retouching would be hypocritical. The thing is, even if they didn't retouch, they chose women with nice figures (no matter their size) and without cellulite. So the message just becomes, "as long as you have perfectly smooth skin and a proportional figure, you are beautiful and acceptable." This is better than the normal messages we get bombarded with, but still, I don't have smooth skin, I have acne, so this ad still makes me fail to feel beautiful. They should just give up. :)
0037sammie 0037sammie 8 years
I am DISGUSTED. Campaign for real beauty? What, the photoshopped version?!
sidra5397 sidra5397 8 years
It's slightly damages the message for me but overall I'm alright with it. There are woman of of varying body types and skin colours... And after all the company sells soap when it come down to it... I think it's more like they wanted to improve the effects of their product than the bodies of the women.
0danielle0 0danielle0 8 years
Personally, I Photoshop every single picture I share or print. Everyone looks better with a little retouching. The message is fab, so I say don't sweat it! :o)
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Everyone gets photoshopped. But if it's only light retouching, the message from Dove works, and it's something that a lot of people need to hear.
Jenny86 Jenny86 8 years
I think it's a bit hypocritical, if you ask me.
fashion_doll24 fashion_doll24 8 years
I still like the adds. The fact that they use women with realistic body shapes instead of size zero models does the trick. If I were to pose for any add, I'd be happy to have skin imperfections retouched. The main idea they're trying to convey is that anyone can be beautiful, no matter what size they are. I think that the adds are even more effective just because those women have perfect (although retouched) skin. because they are REALLY beautiful here!
fashion_doll24 fashion_doll24 8 years
I still like the adds. The fact that they use women with realistic body shapes instead of size zero models does the trick. If I were to pose for any add, I'd be happy to have skin imperfections retouched. The main idea they're trying to convey is that anyone can be beautiful, no matter what size they are. I think that the adds are even more effective just because those women have perfect (although retouched) skin. because they are REALLY beautiful here!
inertia inertia 8 years
The New Yorker article was fascinating. In college I majored in illustration so I appreciated reading about the careful thought Dangin applies to everything from anatomy to composition. Having said that, the Dove ads never did anything for me in the first place. It's just more marketing. And if it's done anything to change the perception that petite women like me are also "real women" and not "childlike," I haven't noticed.
inertia inertia 8 years
The New Yorker article was fascinating. In college I majored in illustration so I appreciated reading about the careful thought Dangin applies to everything from anatomy to composition. Having said that, the Dove ads never did anything for me in the first place. It's just more marketing. And if it's done anything to change the perception that petite women like me are also "real women" and not "childlike," I haven't noticed.
missgnav missgnav 8 years
I've worked in advertising. It doesn't matter the product; there's a specific aim and that aim is to sell, sell, sell. Dove's objective with these ad campaigns is to appeal to real women, and I think that they have done that. It doesn't matter to me that they retouched that photo. You can't look at a photo these days anymore and not notice that it hasn't been retouched. It's just a standard in advertising.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
One word: Hypocrites.If it was just simple things like removing the look of leg stubble or red marks, sure I understand. However I get the feeling they went far beyond that.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
One word: Hypocrites. If it was just simple things like removing the look of leg stubble or red marks, sure I understand. However I get the feeling they went far beyond that.
Glosslizard Glosslizard 8 years
Totally agree with the point "all women are real", good one!Re the ad, hypocritical to me completely depends on the scope and extent of the re-touching. Taking off scars or razorburn... sure go nuts! Arm-whittling... I'm not such a fan!Frankly, however, I would totally expect some general clean-up. I wouldn't pose for a billboard-size ad of me in my skivvies unless photoshopping was guaranteed! ;)
Glosslizard Glosslizard 8 years
Totally agree with the point "all women are real", good one! Re the ad, hypocritical to me completely depends on the scope and extent of the re-touching. Taking off scars or razorburn... sure go nuts! Arm-whittling... I'm not such a fan! Frankly, however, I would totally expect some general clean-up. I wouldn't pose for a billboard-size ad of me in my skivvies unless photoshopping was guaranteed! ;)
erinleighralph erinleighralph 8 years
I'm sort of surprised that no one had stretch marks. I'm 23 and a size 6/8 and my stomach is COVERED in stretch marks from a weight gain a few years ago, but these girls are bigger and have gorgeous skin. Could be genetics, but I think that it's things like cellulite and stretch marks that alter the TEXTURE of our bodies (appearance of more fat, etc) that is more illustrative of women. It's unfortunate that all these women are so smooth - it's not even about proportion but about an unrealistic ideal.
nohesitation nohesitation 8 years
Not surprising -- no bruises, veins, or cellulite is pretty unlikely. I'm young, tall, fit, and thin AND even I have some cellulite. A lot of skinny models do too!
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