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60 Years of #RealBeauty features Red Wing native

A group shot of the women featured in Dove's celebration of real beauty for 60 years. Camryn Nelson is on the far left. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Camryn Nelson's headshot photo used for Dove's recent "Real Beauty" campaign. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

Camryn Nelson is a 26-year-old woman born and raised in Red Wing. While she spends most of her time studying for her master's degree in communications in Minneapolis, she decided to put her life to a short halt after receiving a surprise email.

Nelson was involved in Dove's self-esteem program in high school but hasn't been involved with the company since. For over the past decade, she has worked on her blog, Brave Like Me, which helps share her message of helping women to forget pursuing perfection. She also spreads the word of empowering women by holding workshops and speaking to audiences.

"From an elementary assembly to a room filled with moms and dads, I've had the chance to speak to every type of person with one goal in mind: to instill confidence in the heart of a young woman," Nelson said.

When asked to fly to Los Angeles for a photoshoot, Nelson had zero hesitation. Her mission statement, she said, aligned perfectly with Dove's, making the decision a no-brainer.

Dove stands by its message of natural beauty for 60 years with the #RealBeauty campaign; the company continued asking real people, not models, to be a part of it.

"It was a pretty whirlwind adventure," Nelson said. "We found out we would be a part of it 48 hours before we had to get on a plane to be there."

Once she arrived, Nelson was approached by the Dove team. With little idea of what to expect — Dove wanted the campaign to be a surprise, she said.

Nelson's trip was only two days in the city. The first day Nelson and the other women in the campaign spent exploring and enjoying LA. After that it was straight to business.

"They had used all of our clothing," Nelson said about the photoshoot. "Our makeup and hair was done how we would do it every day, it wasn't really glammed up. It was to celebrate real beauty."

After individual portraits were taken, the women gathered at the end for group shots.

"We held a celebration and talked about what would be next and I had to get on a plane and come home right away," Nelson said.

While she doesn't anticipate hearing from Dove again anytime soon, Nelson hopes to continue looking for opportunities to speak to women about showing off their true beauty.

"My passion has really taken my whole life and guided me," she said.

Nelson also credits a lot of her experience to growing up in Red Wing.

"Red Wing really fostered the passion that I have," she said. "It gave me the opportunity to work with amazing women and learn more about what I wanted to do and grow into this position where I feel comfortable speaking to women about being confident."

For those wanting to check out the Dove campaign with Nelson, visit, or to read more about Nelson's blog, visit

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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