Chuck Nuyren runs a blog called Advertising to Baby Boomers. It is smart and informative and, of course, I turned to it when I was putting together my Rethinking Dove’s Pro-Aging Campaign post a few days back. Chuck must have seen the link and he dropped by to offer this, excellent, comment.
I did not know (see Chuck’s comment) about the distinction between the two campaigns. I will, however, continue to hold that the selection of models who exemplify unstated assumptions about beauty constitutes a validation and promotion of those ideals. Airbrush or (not too much) Airbrush.
It gets confusing, this retouching issue.
There were two campaigns done by Ogilvy for Dove. One was Real Beauty, which used youngish models who were overweight, had lots of freckles, weren’t typically beautiful by commercial standards, etc.
Then there was the Dove Pro Age campaign for another line of products. This was the one with nude older women. The Pro Age campaign was a subset of the Real Beauty campaign.
The original Real Beauty campaign (younger women) might have had some (or a lot) of retouching.The Pro Age campaign was shot by Annie Leibovitz, and she insists that none of her work was retouched – except for color correction and a few minor things like strands of hair out of place. No skin, wrinkles, or body shapes were airbrushed.
The above is an explanation – not offered to refute your retrospect queasiness about the campaign.
I brought this up to the front page because Chuck’s comment was thoughtful and it taught me something I did not know. This capacity for informed give and take is a large part of what sets social media apart from mass media. In the latter, people are seen consumers of “news.” In the former, people are part of a conversation. Changing Aging is engaged in a conversation and, in olden days we might have had this conversation over beers at a pub. Nowadays we talk about things that interest us here— in cyberspace.
I know that many people who are involved in the business of aging services swing by here and I encourage those readers to take a look at Chuck’s work, he offers a clear-headed assessment of who Boomers are and what they want.