Real or Re-touched? Dove makes us question the images we see

Sparking a discussion about how re-touching can distort our perception of beauty

TORONTO, April 25, 2012 /CNW/ - Advertisers and media have been under increasing criticism for publishing photos that reflect extreme examples of digital photo retouching. The widespread use of unrealistic images has been known to negatively impact women's self-esteem and can be especially damaging to young girls.

Now Dove, which has pursued an ongoing mission to provoke a discussion around issues related to beauty and self-esteem, is launching a creative campaign to spark a conversation around how extreme re-touching of images can go unnoticed and can distort a woman's perception of beauty. This print and interactive campaign continues the work of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty launched in 2004, which first highlighted the issue of digital alteration of beauty images through its Evolution video, now a teaching tool used in classrooms across the globe.

Despite increased attention being paid to the use of re-touching in beauty photos, its effects are still being felt. The Real Truth About Beauty Research* conducted by Dove found that only 9% of Canadian girls (10-17) and 3% of women are comfortable calling themselves beautiful.

"Dove believes that every woman should have a positive relationship with beauty. That is why we have made the commitment not to distort any of our images to create an unrealistic or unattainable view of beauty," says Sharon MacLeod Dove V.P. of Marketing. "Dove only casts real women in its advertising campaigns. We believe our images continue to demonstrate that real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, colours and ages."

The new creative will be featured in a print campaign in Toronto on April 26th and through an interactive and shareable application at, which also invites Canadians to comment on:

  • How they feel about the extreme digital altering of images in advertising and media
  • Do they feel differently about the way they look when they view beauty images

Women and young girls are also encouraged to explore the resources at, including an interactive tutorial that helps mothers, mentors and educators engage girls in a fun exploration and discussion about beauty images.

**Dove's Real Truth About Beauty Research explored key issues, which can play a role in shaping the development of self-esteem, with more than 1,200 girls ages 10-17 in the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, Brazil and Russia in 2010.

ATTENTION PHOTO EDITORS:  Image provided should be run upside down to deliver full impact of campaign.

Image with caption: "Real or Retouched? With a new ad campaign, Dove is sparking a discussion about how re-touching can distort our perception of beauty and is encouraging consumers to get involved on (CNW Group/Dove)". Image available at:


For further information:

or to arrange an interview with Sharon MacLeod, contact:

Kelly-Lynn Armstrong or Amanda Losier, Harbinger
(416) 960-5100

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