Thursday 28 July 2011

Airbrush or Natural

So the media has been going crazy since Wednesday over the news that the Advertising Watchdog, the Advertising Standards Industry have banned, in Britain, an advertisement by Lancome featuring Julia Roberts
 and another featuring the very beautiful veteran model Christy Turlington,

 following complaints by MP Joe Swinson. Both ads were for foundations by Maybelline and Lancome, both owned by L'Oreal and it is said that "there is not enough evidence to show the retouched images accurately reflected what the products could achieve." "Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm, but both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don't need retouching to look great," said Swinson. I agree, stunning Women, absolutely gorgeous but not an accurate portrayal of their natural beauty.

I for one am delighted about this. For girls and women both young and old constantly being bombarded with images of "Perfection" by our idols and people that we admire this is a step in the right direction.  A very small percentage of the population actually look like these celebrities used in endorsements and the problems with self esteem and body image with teens and preteens nowadays are getting more severe. With so many of these celebrities and models that are being used to market the products within the beauty industry, being airbrushed to what THEY perceive as perfection, the normal women in the world are striving to look like someone that is nonexistent. Natural bodies have become subjected to such scrutiny within the media that the representation of what is beautiful has become so distorted that self fulfilment is now linked with an unrealistic goal of complete visual flawlessness and embedded so deeply within female psyche from such an early age that doctors have been reporting that children as young as six and seven are being treated for eating disorders, already feeling the pressures to be thin.  Even models themselves don’t look like they do in these advertisements in their normal life, yet these are the pictures that are presented to the world as ideal.

 The beauty industry defines what is beautiful however that may not be everyone’s opinion and standpoint so these steps now being taken not only make women feel better about themselves but also start the process (hopefully) of changing the perception of beauty within the industry.
Aside from celebrity endorsement or models being the face of the brand it is the beauty industry that established the problems in the first place. They label freckles or smile lines as a problem and combined with the media’s coverage of celebrities “caught” with the aforementioned problems or the negative press associated with anything other than what is perceived to be picture perfect, creates the mental complex within women’s minds which can lead to eating disorders, body dysmorphia, harmful over-exercising or depression.
Yes, It was definitely time to take a stand and really do something about the issues associated with blatant false advertising.
I have studied Marketing, Advertising and Pr and the insight into the tricks of the trade can be quite appalling. As much as I love the areas as a consumer I feel the unfair advertising has gotten way out of control and should be monitored way more closely. In my final Marketing Assignment we were asked a question on Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty and what we thought about it. In my in depth study and research for the assignment I came  across some shocking figures, statistics and real life stories on how misleading advertising can effect the consumer.
  Here is another article on the channel 4 website which I found to be quite eye opening during my research.
This is not the first time L'Oreal has been in trouble over "misleading" advertisements. In the ad for Loreal's Elvive Shampoo featuring Cheryl Cole she is wearing hair extensions to enhance her own hair. This is not a result of using that shampoo. False Advertising! It is unfair to show these as real. Expectations can never be achieved. 

 When it comes to the ads now banned, when looking for a foundation you want to genuinely see what it can do to real people. real skin, real faces.. Not a china doll like complexion of an ageing supermodel or completely ridiculous wrinkle free face of a woman, who happens to be an actress, with kids in her 40s. Celeb or not she does not look like this while wearing this foundation...

So what do you think? Should this issue be addressed further. Are there other ads that make you want to scream, THAT IS NOT REAL!!!  Here are some more Ads I feel should be addressed, the Mascara ads which promise amazing False Lash effects or Millionizing!! Yeah, If you add false lashes!

See the Independent for the full story

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