My fellow blogger Nadine just hooked me up with the details on Dove’s press release for tomorrow, since she got an exclusive advance copy today (and got invited to the annual Step Up Women’s Network Inspirational awards - jealous!) If you haven’t been keeping up with the airbrushing debacle, here’s the rundown: photographer Pascal Dangin (who works for Annie Leibovitz, who shot Dove’s latest Real Beauty campaign) claims that the photos were *shudder* retouched. Tomorrow, Dove’s sets the record straight about the ordeal:
Statement from Dove about The New Yorker Article
9 May 2008, 4:45pm
Dove’s mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day by widening the definition of beauty and inspiring them to take great care of themselves. Dove strives to portray women by accurately depicting their shape, size, skin color and age.
The “real women” ad referenced in recent media coverage was created and produced entirely by Ogilvy, the Dove brand’s advertising agency, from start to finish and the women’s bodies were not digitally altered.
Pascal Dangin worked with photographer Annie Leibovitz (Ogilvy has never employed Mr. Dangin on the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty), who did the photography for the launch of the Dove ProAge campaign, a new campaign within the Campaign for Real Beauty. There was an understanding between Dove and Ms. Leibovitz that the photos would not be retouched - the only actions taken were the removal of dust from the film and minor color correction.
“Let’s be perfectly clear - Pascal does all kinds of work - but he is primarily a printer - and only does retouching when asked to. The idea for Dove was very clear at the beginning. There was to be NO retouching and there was not,” confirmed Annie Leibovitz, commenting on the ProAge campaign.
Mr. Dangin responded, “The recent article published by The New Yorker incorrectly implies that I retouched the images in connection with the Dove “real women” ad. I only worked on the Dove ProAge campaign taken by Annie Leibovitz and was directed only to remove dust and do color correction - both the integrity of the photographs and the women’s natural beauty were maintained.”
I don’t think airbrushing photos defies the idea of the “Real Beauty” campaign anyway. Let’s be real: These are photographs that have to be blown up, sized down, and printed at giant resolutions in every form of publication. Freckles, pimples and discoloration aren’t the signs that someone is “real” in a photograph - they’re distracting and visually confusing. Take a graphic design class before you judge, people!