I've posted before on the power of re-touching, and how if people saw and knew just how much of it was done to ads and posters before we got to see them, they'd stop beating themselves up for not looking like something which effectively doesn't exist.
Sure there are some truly beautiful people in the world - generally of the airhostess/model mom and millionaire Italian father ilk, and these lucky bastards are born with long slim limbs, great teeth, a good complexion, and well, just gorgeous genes. Look no further than Grace Kelly, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Nathalie Portman, Rock Hudson etc. But even these people did or do get airbrushed - teeth get whitened, bags under the eyes go, a spot gets removed, a bit of dark hair on the arms disappears, hair becomes thicker and shinier, an extra glint gets added to the eyes. Fact is, we are human beings - we have body hair, pores, bad hair days. No matter how beautiful they are, no one is as 'perfect' as the crap we see in magazines.
Dove are doing some great work in terms of their real beauty campaign. OK, let's not kid ourselves, they're still a multi-million dollar company that want to continue selling their stuff, and I doubt this promotional drive is hurting sales - in fact, quite the opposite I imagine. But the message is still good, and a lot better than what we've had before. It's clearly about loving who you are, and making the most of what you have, as opposed to aspiring to achieve the impossible. One only has to look at some of the freakish lengths women go to these days with plastic surgery, or indeed with starving themselves, to see what a problem this is.
Check out the new TV commercial Dove are doing showing how a pretty(ish) model gets converted into a gorgeous one. Fantastic! You can view it at their website too, but I'm not sure how long it's going to be on there as it's on their splash page.