27 July 2011

Truth in beauty advertising: because we’re worth it

Image from withdrawn Lancome ad, from The Guardian site
I wasn’t surprised to hear the news that two big beauty houses have been forced to pull ads in the UK, when the advertising watchdog agreed with Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson that they were overly airbrushed.

Lancome have been instructed to pull their Teint Miracle campaign (see above), while Maybelline have withdrawn ‘The Eraser’ campaign featuring Christy Turlington.

Of course, Lancome and Maybelline - both owned by L’Oreal – are far from the only brands engaging in this type of practice. From haircare ads where extensions have been used to mascara campaigns featuring false lashes, the overuse of digital enhancement is rife in the beauty industry.
We’ve long known not to believe what we see on the page or the screen. We’ve become more cynical about what we’re told by the beauty brands, which is why word of mouth and personal recommendations are so valuable. (And, I believe, why beauty blogs have such an important part to play.)
But that’s not to say we’re not affected by these advertising messages. Impossible standards of beauty create and exploit insecurities and make women and girls feel bad for not looking like the airbrushed models and celebrities in the ad campaigns.
Jo Swinson is quoted as saying:  
“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.
This ban sends a powerful message to advertisers - let's get back to reality."
It’s high time for the beauty industry to ditch excessive post production and feature more honest imagery in their ad campaigns.
Because, surely now, we’re worth it.  
Post a Comment