4 Major Brands That Decided to Stop Using Photoshop

Promoting healthy body image by focuing on natural, untouched beauty.

Jul 15, 2015
A young model undergoes the Photoshop treatment in the Dove ad Evolution.

A young model undergoes the Photoshop treatment in the Dove ad Evolution (Screenshot)

The models gracing fashion magazines and clothing ads these days mostly appear to have slim bodies with no marks or blemishes - but do they really look that way in real life? A host of companies think not, and want to put a positive spin on body image by drawing attention to the use of editing programs such as Photoshop.
 

Dove was one of the first major brands to call attention to excessive Photoshop use with the viral video, “Evolution.” The clip opens with a clean-faced model who is waiting to be photographed. After receiving a heavy-handed make up application, we see her photograph get the final treatment. With each click of the mouse, her appearance is altered to the point that she is not even recognizable as the woman who first walked into the studio.


This push to promote real-looking models in ads is slowly gaining steam, buoyed by the effort to endorse 
positive body images for young men and women. By featuring real and untouched models, the hope is that everyday consumers will get a more balanced view of how people actually look - minimizing the propagation of unattainable body images. These four brands are at the forefront of the Photoshop-free movement, challenging the mainstream to promote and celebrate real and untouched models in their ads.

1. MODCLOTH WAS THE FIRST TO SIGN THE NO-PHOTOSHOP PLEDGE

The e-retailer ModCloth makes women’s clothing that are a mix of indie, vintage and retro all wrapped into one. What really distinguishes them from the pack is that they are the first retailer to sign the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers from the Brave Girls Alliance, which calls for advertisers to stop altering women’s appearances in ads.

EXTRA:
The fashion-forward company has been a long time advocate for women of all shapes and sizes, with its diverse range of models that proudly and naturally represent the brand.

ModCloth also features models of all sizes and shapes. [Screenshot]

2. AERIE KEEPS IT REAL

In the spring of 2014 American Eagle’s lingerie line Aerie announced a new campaign called Aerie Real. The company’s ads featured models who have one thing in common – none of them are digitally retouched. For the past year, Aerie is going strong sans Photoshop, and will be teaming up with young actress Emma Roberts for its new fall 2015 campaign.

EXTRA:
Earlier this year, Aerie became a key sponsor of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ongoing national walks awareness program, NEDA Walk. Save a Life. This campaign raises funds for advocacy and educational programs, spreads awareness about the seriousness of eating disorders and provides support for the local community.

Aerie's models are seen as is with no retouching or Photoshop required. [Facebook]

3. SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE MAKES THE PLEDGE TO GO NATURAL

In 2012, a 14-year old girl named Julia Bluhm organized a petition on Change.org that called for Seventeen Magazine to provide at least one unadulterated photo spread per issue. As her cause gained momentum, the magazine geared to young women pledged to not digitally alter body sizes or face shapes of the models featured in its editorial pages.

EXTRA:
 Seventeen created an eight-point Body Peace Treaty that reinforced its commitment to featuring healthy models in their publication, and also made photo shoots transparent by featuring behind-the-scenes videos on Tumblr.

Seventeen Magazine's Body Peace Treaty. [Pinterest]

4. ACTRESS VANESSA HUDGENS IS 100% HERSELF FOR BONGO JEANS

For the fall 2014 Bongo clothing campaign,Vanessa Hudgens decided to go Photoshop-free. The clothing line that is sold exclusively  at Sears and Kmart, took Hudgens’ lead when she opted for untouched ad images.

EXTRA:
The actress of High School Musical fame had this to say about her decision to ditch Photoshop: “The clothes really make me feel carefree and confident, which is why I love that the final ad images are untouched. It’s so important for girls to remember that real beauty shines from within and I’m so proud that Bongo is choosing to send such a positive message with this campaign."

Vanessa Hudgens poses for Bongo minus Photoshop. [Screenshot]

ADD A COMMENT