A study found that almost a third of women say they would sacrifice a year of life to achieve the ideal body weight and shape” (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/08/08/swinson.airbrushing.ads/)
We’re all aware of the fact that beauty and fashion advertisers employ all kinds of tools to persuade us to buy their products; after all, this is the basis of the industry – to sell stuff. But there’s something seriously disturbing about the finding above. Why? Because you are sacrificing a year of life for an extremely distorted idea of normal, beautiful, attainable and health.
Let’s be aware of some of the tactics that the industry uses to sell their products
Unrealistic representation of women as extremely thin:
This is done by either the consistent use of models and celebrities who are much thinner than the vast majority of the population, fitting their ideal of beauty, or by manipulating their models digitally to suit the idea… or worst: both. Now, there is nothing wrong with being skinny, we’re not skinny bashing here but there is something seriously wrong about distorting definitions of beauty to make people buy your product.
Lighting and angles
When we think of what tricks the advertising industry uses to make their models look “good”, we think of the obvious – Photoshop – when the truth is lighting, angles also play a role. Professional photographers know how to make people look good just by enhancing the light or making them tilt a certain angle.
You’d think that when they sell a product, they would sell the trust so that your expectations don’t fall short when you come to use the product. But truth is, in most ads, you’re not seeing the 100% natural – the model’s curls… probably extensions. And their long eyelashes… probably false eyelashes.
It’s important to realise that beauty as defined by advertisers are extremely skewed and it’s even more vital that in light of being aware about their tricks of the trade, that we should aim to change the definition of beauty and make it our own.