Makeup equals airbrushing?

The “Dove Evolution video” is making its rounds through the blogosphere. The video shows a woman before and after makeup and getting some amazing hair work, and then before and after digital photo manipulation including puffing up her lips, lengthening and slimming her neck, and moving and enlarging her eyes.

It brings to mind the masterful photo editing displayed by Greg Apodaca aka Floyd that hit the blogosphere a while back. Floyd has more disturbing examples of digital manipulation. Don’t miss the amount of “work” done on the bikini model. You won’t look at a Cosmopolitan or Shape magazine cover the same again.

Yet, however well-intentioned the campaign’s goal is, I believe the video sends a mixed message. By starting the video before the model puts on makeup, the video implies that putting on makeup and fixing your hair is as fake, as harmful to a woman’s self-image, as airbrushed pictures of models. Is that true? I don’t think so and I don’t think the target audience buys it, either. Instead, they are just as likely to get the opposite message: digital manipulation is no worse than putting on makeup.

Time to buy one of those Hewlett-Packard cameras with the “slimming feature.”