Dove placed an ad on Craigslist Friday evening seeking non-models for its next "Real Beauty" campaign, which is meant to spotlight real women with real bodies to make a statement about all the unrealistic images of women the world is bombarded with daily. However, based on the casting call, the company seems to be looking for real women who are perfect in one sense or another.
DOVE “REAL WOMEN” PRINT CASTING JUNE 28-30, 2010 in NYC
ABSOLUTELY NO ACTRESSES / MODELS OR REALITY SHOW PARTICIPANTS or ANY ONE CARRYING A HEADSHOT!!!!
REAL WOMEN ONLY!
LOOKING FOR 3-4 REAL WOMEN for a DOVE PRINT CAMPAIGN!
AGES 35-45, CAUCASIAN, HISPANIC, AFRICAN AMERICAN, & ASIAN!
SHOOT: SUNDAY, JULY 18 in NYC! MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE SHOOT!
RATE: $500 for Shoot date & if selected for Ad Campaign (running 2011) you will be paid $4000!
USAGE: 3 years unlimited print & web usage in N. America Only
YOU WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED FOR THE CAMPAIGN IN A TOWEL!
BEAUTIFUL ARMS AND LEGS AND FACE WILL BE SHOWN!
MUST HAVE FLAWLESS SKIN, NO TATTOOS OR SCARS!
Well groomed and clean...Nice Bodies..NATURALLY, FIT Not too Curvy Not too Athletic.
Great Sparkling Personalities. Beautiful Smiles! A DOVE GIRL!!!
STYLISH AND COOL!
Beautiful HAIR & SKIN is a MUST!!!
PLEASE SUBMIT SNAPSHOTS of FACE & BODY ASAP & WE WILL CALL YOU IN FOR A CASTING NEXT WEEK 6/28-6/30 in NYC!
"Flawless" doesn't sound like something that fits into the definition of "real" anything. Dove is clearly looking for women who are beautiful (the campaign is called Real Beauty, after all), but the campaign would seem exempt from this kind of casting process. It's great that they want to shoot women who aren't stick figures, but it's not quite so thrilling that they're sending a negative message about scars, which most people can't help having anyway.
"Real Beauty" previously came under scrutiny when expert retoucher Pascal Dangin told The New Yorker in 2008 that he extensively retouched the campaign. He later took back the statement, clarifying that he was referring to Dove's "Pro-Age" campaign. Unilever said that the retouching Dangin did on the "Real Beauty" ads did not include any alterations to the non-models' figures, but only color correction and dust removal, declining to get into details about what exactly that process entails. So after Dove casts the best version of real they can find, the new campaign images may be retouched, but perhaps not extensively enough to remove scars and blemishes and other real things real people have.