Dove Canada, longtime advocates of "real beauty," have taken their campaign against Photoshop to a whole new level of borderline hacktivism.
The whoelsome skin care company that practically raised your grandparents has sneakily rolled out a Photoshop Action (a kind of plug-in) that reverts edited images back to their original, un-airbrushed state. Dove Canada made the action available online through various channels (like Reddit) and while the downloadable file promised to beautify images by adding "a fake skin glow" with a single click, in reality it reverted the photo back to its original state, while adding a banner that says: "Don’t manipulate our perceptions of Real Beauty." Here's a screenshot of the original post, as it first appeared on Reddit and caught by Twirlit.com:
The false claim to "give skin a beautiful glow while hiding all the imperfections" basically makes this plug-in malware no? In a statement and video explaining the action (which you can view below), Dove Canada says the goal of the Photoshop file was to target art directors, graphic designers and photo retouchers — that is, those responsible for manipulating images — in an effort to "put a stop to the negative beauty messages we send and receive every day via our social networks."
For the past decade, the company has been fighting against the media’s unrealistic and overly idealized portrayals of women with their "Campaign for Real Beauty," a crusade first conceived by the Toronto branch of Ogilvy & Mather. As part of its latest stunt, Dove and Ogilvy is also launching a larger social campaign called #DovePositiveChange, which includes a new Facebook app called "Ad Makeover" allowing Canadian women to replace negative ads on the social networking site with "words of affirmation." This from the same company (Unilever) that sells Ax body spray, the manly-man scent that attracts all those super hot femmebots in its commercials.
Sure, the Photoshop plug-in is a throwaway stunt, but maybe Dove should begin practicing what it preaches before doling out "words of affirmation."
Images via Dove Canada and The Guardian