The objective is to help women and girls navigate images they see in media and help them differentiate what has been altered to fit the ideals of what beauty is and is not, said the brand.
"When content in the media is not reflective of reality, it has a profound negative effect on the viewer," says Jess Weiner, cultural expert and adjunct professor at University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Journalism and Dove self-esteem spokesperson. "By viewing unrealistic and unachievable beauty images it creates an unattainable goal which leads to feelings of failure. This is especially true of young girls who have grown up in a world of filters and airbrushing."
Research from the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report shows that women globally have lost trust in what they are viewing. Some 77% believe that all images in the media have been digitally altered or airbrushed. Brands need to take note of this, since 69% of women cite increasing pressures from advertising and media to reach an unrealistic standard of beauty as a key force in driving appearance anxiety.
The 'No Digital Distortion Mark' joins the Dove Self-Esteem Project tools, and will work to ensure that young people are taught to quickly identify digitally distorted images within media, becoming more critical of what they see, said the Unilever-owned brand. Since its launch in 2004, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has helped more than 20 million young people across 138 countries build positive body confidence and self-esteem, making the Dove Self-Esteem Project one of the largest providers of body confidence education in the world. In Canada alone, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has reached a total of 2.5 million young people and has a goal of reaching 204,000 young people in 2018. Globally the goal is to reach another 20 million lives by 2020.
This mark, according to is a continuation of the Real Beauty Pledge—a recommitment in 2017 to only portraying what is real, true and accurate for women and beauty. It was a public commitment to never present the unachievable, manipulated, flawless images of "perfect" beauty, which the use of retouching tools can promote. The mark will not only eliminate the guess work out of consuming media, it will also encourage other brands to follow suit by agreeing to not use digital distorted images, according to Dove.
"Last year, we pledged to use images with zero digital distortion," said Dove global VP, Sophie Galvani. "This year, we want to go one step further and give women a tool to help them understand what is real and what isn't. The Mark will take help women identify reality and relieve some of the pressure to look a certain way, which is why we have created a new Evolution Film which reveals the extent of digital distortions and manipulations that takes place in media and advertising and brings to life the issue that women experience. We are hoping more brands join us in this movement, as this commitment needs to be widespread."