Waif-like models have come in for a huge amount of criticism over the past month for giving the public unrealistic expectations of beauty, and the power of good make-up has always been understood –- but it's unusual for retouching to come under fire unless it has freakish results (cf Kate Winslet or Oprah Winfrey).
But this is what the latest Dove commercial has done. OK, it's obviously pushing an agenda as part of the company's Real Beauty campaign - but the message is pretty clear: retouching in fashion campaigns is a 'bad thing'.
The first half of the advert confines itself to a conventional fashion shoot, where make-up is used to hide blemishes and highlight the model's natural good looks. It's the second half that's more suprising to the general public, where the model's facial features are rearranged in a barely-concealed version of Photoshop (they've cut the menu bar off).
It's a clever campaign, but not one Adobe will be highlighting when it talks about the use of Photoshop in the media, I think.