Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign Isn't Real!

Their skin does look suspiciously smooth… Photo: Courtesy of Dove Real Beauty

Dove's "Real Beauty" ad campaign raised many an eyebrow for using scantily clad non-models. Real gals in all their glory! What moxie! The ads intended to emphasize how distorted the world's vision of beauty is, especially with the army of hairstylists, makeup artists, and photo retouchers behind all the images we see in ads every day. However, it turns out the campaign ain't so real after all. Gasp! Expert photo retoucher Pascal Dangin, who works for Box Studios in New York, told The New Yorker he worked his magic on the ad photos.

“Do you know how much retouching was on that?” he asked. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.”


Unilever didn't comment on the statement, but a spokeswoman for the agency who created the ads did:

[S]he said the agency is still attempting to collect details of his work, if any, on the ads.

"We are unsure right now what he did," the Ogilvy spokeswoman said. "He works with Annie Leibovitz, the photographer. And we don't have any record of him actually working on any of the Dove campaign.

"There was no retouching of the women," she said. "If there was a hair that was up in the air, that might have been the kind of retouching that was done. But until I know what he actually worked on, I can't comment on it."

Oh, step off your high horse, lady. This isn't really surprising. We all know nothing is natural these days. And after, like, seeing Nicole Kidman at the Oscars and learning what's really in Pinkberry yogurt and, you know, being alive, we've been trained to understand that just because people say things are natural doesn't mean we should believe them.

Dove's 'Real Beauty' Pics Could Be Big Phonies [Ad Age]
Pixel Perfect [NYer]