Three pages in one of my monthly magazines in and I had to close it and write this post. Why? If there is one thing, just one little thing that makes me angry about advertising in general, beyond the douchebags that think they are creative geniuses (look up our review of Art & Copy), beyond being overworked and underpaid, beyond knowing full well that advertising is, basically, manipulating information... or lying... If there is just one thing that I am deeply ashamed of, is this: beauty ads are the worst.
Take your garden variety mascara ads, facial creams, rejuvenating balms or any other item that requires a face and you will end up with such a retouched image that you can't even recognize a human being anymore in it!
This angers me, hard core style. Why? Women are starving themselves. Women are wasting money on makeup, creams, facial systems and many other things with unrealistic expectations that if they use them, they will have that dewy glow that they see in the magazines.
I know this is a blog mainly dedicated to advertising people (well, at least it started out that way), but if there is by any chance normal people out there, who don't know the ugly details about how low us advertising people can go to make you buy the shit we're bullshitting you about, or if you know someone who wastes her money at Sephora, Bloomingdales, Macy's or any other store, please, send her this post. At least, send the following paragraph, will you? Here we go:
Hi. I'm Me. I write at Why Advertising Sucks. I would like you to know that if you are buying beauty products left and right looking for that amazing skin, those really little pores or those amazing eyelashes... close up that magazine. Really. While any beauty product can be beneficial for your face or skin, please, don't believe the hype. We retouch to hell every little photo that you see on any of our ads. To the point of bizarre. Eyelids are completely redone. Irises are colored so you see two to three tone eyes. Skin is sometimes replaced COMPLETELY with a different skin from a database of different textures and colors. Faces are put on other necks (watch The September Issue closely). Waists are made slimmer. Thighs are shaved to look smaller. Those amazing eyelash tv ads that promise you longer lashes are bullshit. Even if you pay a bottle of Monthly Latisse every month, the moment you stop using it, the moment your lashes start to become smaller again. IT'S ALL BULLSHIT.
If you really want change, make an appointment with a very respected and highly recommended dermatologist. Trust me, been there got a tshirt. The only way I purchase any beauty product is by researching it in various forums. Word of mouth (or internet?) is more powerful than any ad you can almost believe.
Why do we do this? Why do we retouch the bejeezus out of celebrities to make an image that the product will never really accomplish? I have no idea. Maybe to lie to you, maybe to manipulate you into believing the bullcrap.
So, what would be a rule of thumb? If you don't see freckles, if you don't see slight imperfections, if you don't see the folds beneath eyelids, if the skin is impecabbly perfect, 95% of the time it will be a better idea if you just look the product up and see what the women are talking about in the internet.
And most importantly. I'm sorry. I'm deeply sorry. I know how much young women are getting the wrong impression seeing all these campaigns left and right. I might be just one angry chick snitch, but you can join me in my anti-bullshit beauty ad campaigns. Simple. Every time your daughter, sister, niece or friend tells you how beautiful that celebrity looks for using product X, just repeat this line: Retouched is not beautiful.
Beauty comes from within... and with a little help from your friendly dermatologist! Much Love, Me.