Lets get a little personal here, I’m Nisa and I’m the blogger behind ‘Redefine BeYOUtiful’. I started this campaign because, as a young woman, I find that we are so often pressured by advertisers to look a certain way. I felt as though, so many young women find it so difficult to be completely comfortable in their own skin because they are constantly told that they are not good enough and thus need a certain product to be and feel beautiful. I’ve always been somewhat resilient in the face of these kinds of pressures but I noticed, before creating this campaign, that often my conversations with my girlfriends would lead to discussions about how their eyebrows are not on-fleek enough, they don’t have Kendall Jenner’s thigh gap or “I can’t wear that crop top, look at this (nonexistent) muffin top”. I never understood it, but then I found myself researching eyelash extensions.
There’s definitely a trend in today’s society for young women to have long lashes and when you don’t, you alter yourself to look that way either by putting on eyelash extensions or applying copious amounts of mascara. This caused me to ask – when and why has natural lashes become a liability? It’s only then that I realised that there is a growing trend in the advertising industry today, to scrutinise one’s eyelashes. Needless to say, becoming one of the main contributors to our insecurities with our lashes – such a small part of our faces but one that has generated millions of dollars for the beauty industry.
Beauty Redefined, wrote a wonderful post giving us 9 reasons to ignore every ad ever and embrace your eyelashes. And we’d love for you to have a read of it!
I think we need a reality check to realise that the features we are born with are good enough. We don’t need to constantly change ourselves to be, and especially feel, beautiful. I know it’s harder said than done but lets make a conscious effort to embrace our natural lashes – because they’re beautiful, even if advertisers tells us otherwise.
Although our campaign is about challenging advertisers definition of beauty and our aim is try and get you to create your own definition of beauty – one that encompasses inner and real beauty – we cannot let advertisers who are trying to help us redefine beauty go unnoticed. Of course, we have to take their campaigns with a grain of salt, after all… they are still trying to sell a product and tap into our hedonic needs, but at least they are not trying to push only one definition of beauty down our throats and make us feel as though we are not good enough. Here are our top 4 favourite advertisers
1 – Dove
The pioneer of the redefinition of beauty movement, the Dove brand is synonymous with its ‘Real Beauty’ campaign. A campaign which aims to encourage women to love their bodies regardless of their size, shape or colour. Although the campaign has been criticsed for not turning the conversations away from physical beauty, Dove opened the gateway for other. wonderful campaigns.
2 – United Colours of Benetton
We wrote an article a while ago about the ‘whitewashed beauty’ trend that plasters magazines. What we love about of United Colours of Benetton’s campaign is that they really embrace the notion that beauty comes in different colour. Not one campaign only features ‘whitewashed’ models – and this is as it should be. After all, we all come in different colours!
3 – Always
A different take on beauty by Always – one that empowers women to believe that being “like a girl” is not just fitting into a category imposed by advertisers, but being a strong, courageous individual. The epitome of inner beauty.
4 – Aerie
We love Aerie’s “no photoshop” stance to advertising. Why should advertisers ‘correct imperfections’ which we all have. Lets be real here, ‘real beauty’ is when you’re not afraid to show your real beauty!
Tell us dear readers, who are your favourite advertisers?
We don’t mean to quote Bruno Mars but we just can’t help it because we would really love YOU to feel beautiful, just the way you are. Here at Redefine BeYOUtiful we were truly inspired by the Body Image Movement’s ‘Unstopple Training’ initiative – trying empower girls and all women alike to have a different kind of transformation. It’s not trying to get you to reach number on the scales, or tone your arms, or live to advertiser’s definition of beauty (which is complete bullshit if you ask us!), but instead to love your body unconditionally as with that comes happiness and confidence!
To add on to the Body Image Movement’s initiative, here is our 5 tips for how to feel beautiful (just the way you are)
1 – Write a list
Hmm, not that kind of list though. Write down 3-5 of your qualities which you love daily. For example, that you’re kind, caring, creative… anything! Your inner qualities which will withstand the test of time will remind you that there is so much more to beauty than just a body (especially one covered with make up and other things advertisers are pushing onto you)
2 – Be a critic
When looking at ads (both in print and social media) think critically the message they are trying to send you. Often, it’s not the mere “you’re not good enough” but is instead “we’re trying to tell you you’re not good enough because we want you to buy our products”. Remember that this is advertiser’s job – to sell products! So if you want to buy the product, that is fine but don’t buy the message they are trying to tell you!
3 – Challenge ‘beautiful’
How? Engage in materials that challenge the meaning of beauty as the first step to challenging the definition of beauty yourself. We love materials from Beauty Redefined, Adios Barbie, Dove, Endangered Bodies and Body Image Movement – all of which gives you a little bit of a wake up call: You are beautiful whether you’re tall, short, skinny, curvy. Also, you’re beautiful not just because of how you look… but who you are.
4 – Seek help if you be hating
We hope it doesn’t get too far, but if you are feeling not so beautiful and it’s seriously affecting you – whether than be low self esteem or to the point of purging. Ask for help from those you love and help lines like The Butterfly Foundation – there are plenty of support networks out there to help you feel beautiful again (because you always were!).
5 – Tell yourself you’re beautiful
This is the most important: tell yourself you look and are beautiful! Now this might sound weird but research has proven that telling yourself you are beautiful, regardless of what advertisers or media is trying to tell you you should look like, is one of the key tricks to actually feeling beautiful (because you actually are!). Negative message feeds negative thinking and this is what advertisers are pushing to you. So feed yourself some positivity!
What do you think dear readers? What are your tips for feeling beautiful just the way you are?
I’d like to think that my derpiness, at times wittiness and desire to have fun ALL the time makes me “beautiful”, or at least its what other people have told me they love about me.
I think its so much more important than looking classically “pretty” – someone telling me that they think I’m fun or love being around me is of so much more value than “you look pretty today”. It makes me more confident in being who I am and saying what I want. As ridiculous cliche as it sounds, I know that person values ME, and will love me no matter what, instead of loving the way I dress or my makeup.
Don’t get me wrong – dressing up or putting on makeup is a fantastic way to make yourself FEEL beautiful if thats what you feel like doing! But it is nowhere near the most important thing.
Tip: think of the nicest, sweetest or funniest person you know. Does thinking about them make you smile? When I think about the nicest person I know, beautiful as a word doesn’t even cut it! Thats the type of person you can be – a person who makes everyone smile. Everyone has something – the way they laugh, the bad jokes they tell, the way they dance – that the people around them love them for.
Much more than the way you look, these are the things that define you – embrace those qualities and don’t be afraid to use them! People will love you for it.
What do you think dear readers? Are qualities that define you more important than being ‘beautiful’?
‘Beauty whitewash’, it’s a thing in advertising and it’s used to describe situations where the advertisers portray simply one race, thus one definition of beauty, or more controversially where the skin tone of others are depicted as digitally retouched to appear whiter. It is rampant trend in the advertising industry and has been for many years, but we are so accustomed to it that often it’s so difficult for us to notice that advertisers are only pushing one definition of beauty to us.
Probably one of the most infamous cases of whitewashing is that of beauty giant L’Oreal whitewashing Beyonce Knowles in their ad into a paler skin-toned and strawberry blonde hair woman, whose appearance is uncanny to her original tones.
This is especially concerning in multicultural countries such as Australia and the United States. I mean, in Australia alone 1 in four Australians are born overseas but somehow, when it comes advertisers’ portrayal of beauty, the array of multiculturalism just does not make the cut. We can’t pretend like this is harming the beauty ideals. How can girls and young women of colour feel beautiful when the messages pushed by advertisers is that beauty is whitewashed.
Many studies have been conducted into the idea that the advertising industry thrive off women feeling bad about their appearances and their bodies, and tapping into their desire to fix their flaws which many women perceive as not measuring up to the media standards of beautiful which they perceive as the average. What these studies indicate is that these manipulations are working. For one, Kristen Harrison conducted a study testing the idea that exposure to TV influenced girls believes about others though of their own bodies and found that white women’s exposure to TV beauty ideas predicted the large-busted women wanted smaller chests and the small-busted women wanted larger chests. Therefore, no one believes they are perfect the way they are, no matter how they appear.
I think, author, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown sums it up pretty well… “too many black and asian children grow up understanding the sad truth that to have dark skin is somehow to be inferior” and there needn’t be this view. When everyone is born with different tones from light to dark, shouldn’t there be more than one definition of beauty?
Advertisers need to reflect society and show that beauty has no one definition. Some advertisers such as Estee Lauder has chosen to embrace that every woman can be beautiful regardless of ethnicity, making it it’s beauty brand’s message in its new ad campaign. This is a beautiful message but more advertisers needs to work towards diversity and inclusivity. Until then, as their target market, we should appreciate our beauty regardless.
What do you think dear readers? Should advertisers stop whitewashing definitions of beauty?