Dove’s Trojan Horse Shaming Potential Body-Shamers

Consider this whole new form of a Trojan Horse as it attempts to do good.

Dove is waging a war against the unrealistic depictions of women in advertisements. The company has been using its long-running “Real Beauty” campaign to fight the false images portrayed in ads and commercials. One of the latest methods Dove is using to fight the war on body-shaming is one that body-shamers already use –Photoshop.

Dove is fighting fire with fire by using photoshop to “hit perpetrators of such ads right at the source –their computers.” Dove Canada’s latest endeavor is a Photoshop creation by Ogilvy Toronto called “Beautify”. It is a downloadable file that makes a change with a single click. The change is aimed at targeting photography that shaves the curves off of model’s who don’t need any curves shaved off.

It is being presented as an aid for retouching and Dove is hoping that the “Beautify” file goes viral. It has left the file on websites like Reddit, Twitter, and has utilized Facebook in order to spread the campaign.

The file makes the photos look like there is a healthy-looking skin glow effect but in fact “Beautify” takes the photo and reverts it back to the original state before it was photoshopped. Photoshop actions are easily done and easily undone. However, Dove’s Trojan horse program hopes to thwart the photoshoppers who like to body-shame women by making them less curvy than they naturally are.

Dove has also begun targeting Facebook Ads with an ad makeover app. It focuses on taking the ads that taunt women about belly fat and other body-shaming issues (muffin-tops, jelly rolls, etc.) and turns them into positive ads instead of negative ones.  The app was launched by Dove Australia and seeks to promote beauty-affirming messages.

“Dove has always listened to women and we feel that International Women’s Day is the perfect time to once again inspire them by bringing our Ad Makeover Facebook app to America and to 18 countries around the world,” said Rob Candelino, VP Unilever Skincare, in a press release.

Some of the slogans that can be used to change a negative ad into a positive one include “The perfect bum is the one you’re sitting on” and “Your birthday suit suits you.” The new ad can be then sent to friends and family. Dove hopes to reach 5 million women with their body-affirming campaigns.

“As an active participant in social media, we at Dove have seen an increase in the number of women and girls negatively tweeting about themselves,” commented Sharon MacLeod, Unilever Canada’s VP of marketing. “We developed the idea based on this insight, and because it was a campaign that made a lot of sense, it was one that could quickly get off the ground within days.”