Skin care company Dove has long been known for pushing against cultural perceptions and expectations relating to what defines beauty for women in today’s society with its Campaign for Real Beauty. Through commercials and other mediums, the company has addressed issues such as body image and self esteem to help young girls and women embrace themselves for who they are. In Dove’s latest campaign effort, they directly targeted photo re-touchers and manipulators, airbrushers, and other media professionals by releasing a free Photoshop Action called “Beautify” that had a hidden message:
Anyone who downloaded the action (which is a one-step tool created for a certain photo-editing purpose or effect) would expect to receive a tool to help them give their subject’s skin a healthy glow. Instead, “Beautify” would revert the photo to it’s original un-manipulated state, and a banner would pop up that said “Don’t manipulate our perceptions of real beauty.” See before and after photos below:
This secretive tactic has created quite a buzz on the Internet, not only for its unorthodox approach, but also for bringing up the question of whether, or to what extent, photographers, graphic designers, and other artists (who were the target demographic for this campaign, rather than consumers) are responsible for our culture’s often unhealthy and harmful depictions of “beautiful” women who, in reality, don’t even exist because their images have been manipulated to such an extent.
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