Dove Canada Uses Photoshop Trojan Horse to Shame Potential Body-Shamers

In the latest round of Dove’s long-running “Real Beauty” campaign, the company leaves a Photoshop Action where photography creatives might find it, in order to sabotage the unrealistic beauty standards they may be supporting.

Battles can’t always be fought like a football game, with the offense and defense meeting each other head-on. Sometimes it’s most advantageous to infiltrate the enemy for a sneak attack–which is exactly what Dove is doing in its ongoing war against unrealistically svelte depictions of women in advertising.

The decade-running “Real Beauty” campaign, which won a Grand Prix at Cannes in 2007, continues its assault on Photoshop by fighting fire with fire. Created by Ogilvy Toronto, Dove Canada’s latest endeavor is a sneaky way to hit the perpetrators of such ads right at the source–their computers.

The team at Ogilvy created the Photoshop action “Beautify”, a downloadable file that makes a change with a single click, in this case aimed at photography creatives who might be shaving the curves off of a not-even-curvy model right this very second. The company hopes to spread “Beautify” by leaving it on sites like Reddit which art directors and the like are known to frequent–presenting it as an aid for retouching.
At first blush, it appears that “Beautify” adds a healthy-looking skin glow effect to the photo. What it actually does, however, is revert photoshopped images back to their original state. Although it occurs to me that some innocent Photoshoppers (though, are any of them truly innocent?) might get caught in the crosshairs of this sneak attack, a Photoshop action can be easily undone, and so any casualties will only be mildly inconvenienced–and probably not ashamed of their bodies.

By Joe Berkowitz on Fast Company’s Co.Create