Dove: Evolution


This 75-second video advertises Unilever’s Dove Real Beauty Workshops for Girls. It details the unnatural perfectionistic process by which women are transformed into fictitious and unattainable paragons of beauty.

The video starts out with an attractive, but unmadeup woman sitting in front of the mirror. She is not a model but is pretty enough to be one. The lights turn on and then the action happens. Through time-lapse photography, we see her face transformed through makeup and hair styling from a plain-looking face with spots and marks to a beautiful defect-free face.

But a little over halfway through the video, the more interesting change takes place. A series of posed shots indicates that her face is being photographed. One of the pictures is selected for editing.

We now see the digital makeup artist at word, manipulating the picture in Adobe Photoshop (thinly-disguised as a generic image editing program). While the first part dealt with cosmetic changes, Photoshop changes the anatomy of the face to make it perfect; cosmetic surgery as it were. We see all kinds of modifications that would previously have required a surgeon to do.

Fuller lips, longer neck, thinner jaw, bigger eyes and thinner face are some of the more noticeable changes. All of this with an hour’s worth of work and no danger to the woman herself.

Now we have a glamorous beauty for all to see on a billboard, advertising a fictitious product called Fasel Foundation Makeup.

We then see the message “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted.” with an invitation to take part in the Dove Real Beauty Workshops for Girls.

This abbreviated behind-the-scenes video is a fascinating study in hyper-reality. The intent was to draw attention to the efforts of ordinary girls to reach the unreachable in their quest to look as beautiful as the billboard or magazine model.

While the video’s imagery will be entrenched in people’s minds, the company behind it may not be. There is no mention of the company until the very end. However, the cause is certainly memorable and that is probably the intent of the creators of this video.

Dove: Evolution
Reviewed by

on January 24, 2013
Time-lapse video showing all of the work required to make a female model's face print-ready through photography and then an image editing program. An ordinary woman is transformed into a super model through makeup, hair-styling and digital manipulation.