Case in Point: Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty


Many women were inspired to see the Dove campaign for real beauty, however it was not as authentic as it appeared to be. The campaign included many videos, billboards, and various other forms of advertisements to show how real everyday women are beautiful just the way they are. One of the most popular videos is available above, it shows how much a person is altered after their photo-shoot ends. Many of the videos featured in the campaign have gone viral. Dove had created a campaign for women to raise their self-esteem and the beauty of real women, however even the women in the advertisements have been Photoshopped by an expert.

Pascal Dangin is the master of photo retouching that said, “Do you know how much retouching was on that?” about the campaign. Personally I think it is very unethical to emphasize the beauty of everyday women but then use-altered images in the campaigns. When Dove promotes real beauty but doesn’t portray it in their ads they are not being transparent. I think Dove should apologize and disclose to viewers just how much Photoshop was used in their ads.I think many people actually do (or did at one time) believe these women were natural and had no retouching done at all. It is ironic that a campaign so focused on natural beauty would include Photoshopped images. No one knows for sure how much these images were altered but even altering them in anyway comprises the validity of the messaging that Dove wanted. 

The real beauty advertising campaign was created after research showed that only 2% of women around the world described themselves as beautiful. How would these women feel if they were then exposed to the campaign and told that the women used were in fact altered in some way? It’s contradictory to what the campaign is trying to show. How can you expect women to feel beautiful if you show them real women who have been Photoshopped? This campaign was suppose to be revolutionary, however Dove has not done anything different from any other advertisers. In fact I think what they did is worse than showing a perfect model, they showed these women and told viewers they were real and untouched when in reality they were not. How would this campaign be seen any differently from others if people really new how much the videos and the images had been altered.I don’t know how this would make a women feel any better about herself or begin to identify herself as beautiful.


Does Dove use Photoshop in its ‘Real Beauty’ campaign? (2014, August 8). Retrieved March 7, 2015, from

Celebre, A., & Waggoner Denton, A. (n.d.). The good, the bad, and the ugly of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Retrieved March 7, 2015, from

Plaisance, P. (n.d.). Transparency. In Media ethics: Key principles for responsible practice (p. 85).


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