In recent years, many brands have faced backlash for their use of altered images. In 2009, Procter and Gamble’s advert was banned when they airbrushed the wrinkles from the model Twiggy’s eyes. The leading cosmetic brand might have got away with some digital smoothing had Twiggy not been promoting an anti-wrinkle eye cream!
It isn’t just the advertising industry that gets caught out. Earlier this year, eagle-eyed cinemagoers spotted that high fashion model Cara Delevingne had been digitally slimmed down in the film Suicide Squad.
However, times could be changing. This summer, ASOS decided to feature swimwear and lingerie models with unedited stretchmarks. Whilst the online retailer has made no statement about the change in its Photoshop policy, it received widespread praise from the likes of the Huffington Post, Stylist, ELLE and the Daily Telegraph, which will have undoubtedly bolstered customer confidence in the brand.
ASOS isn’t the first retailer to make the move. A few years ago, American Eagle said goodbye to Photoshop for a new campaign and ran ads with models completely unedited. The move was made in an attempt to appeal to young women who are ‘more independent and stronger than ever’ and it seemingly worked as Eagle sales soared when the adverts appeared.
Plus who can forget Dove, the champions of ‘real beauty’ since 2004. Dove started the campaign after a study found that only 2% of women considered themselves beautiful. From that point forward, Dove pledged to change the perception of beauty and began using its adverts to celebrate the natural physical differences amongst women.
Some may say these brands have changed their policies for commercial reasons and to improve their corporate social responsibility, but either way, it looks like airbrushing and Photoshop could slowly be on the way out and real models on the rise.