The irony of beauty ads — let the buyer beware
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27
The very purpose, as claimed by many, of beauty ads is to make people feel beautiful or at least realize that they are. But given the case, I really do wonder why do they keep on picturing beauty with the use of their “beauty” products. They say the ads are for empowerment, but I, and some others, feel like that’s less likely the case. They can’t admit that the truth is they just want to sell their products by exploiting the nonsensical insecurities and meaningless concerns of women and men. They point out that the only way to achieving “Real Beauty” always shows the use of their products. You can see the models used in ads using those body enhancing or modifying products to attain the “beautiful” figure, face or life.
The complete opposite
Beauty is standardized nowadays. There is a set expectation for what is and what is not. The notion that sexy is “36-26-36” is still out there. Being white and thin is in. Beauty ads further empowers misogyny rather than women. This is the complete opposite of what they want to accomplish, or so they say.
Many ads produced by cosmetics and beauty companies have backfired. The idea they are trying to promote (good value) was overshadowed by the fact that beauty is quantified, measured and patterned. Also, marketing of these products are so exaggerated that people are enticed to buy them yet they fail to get the promised result. They fail to feel that confidence that they were supposed to have once they use the products.
Why are these advertisements so exaggerated when it comes to outcomes and why are they pinning on the insecurities that women should feel? These companies should be able to let their buyers beware of the true effect of their products. They should let their buyers be aware that their products show best results only on some skin or hair type, or on what temperature or place that you are staying. They should also give caution to their customers of any possible irritation that could arise due to the various chemicals used in the products.
Beauty companies should not only focus on earning their profits, they should be responsible enough to let the society be aware of how good or up to what extent of harm their product could cause. Further, they should also be responsible enough to not give misleading perspective to the society. Remember, we are all created in the image of God, so why imply that someone is ugly? Why create insecurities, especially to women?
Exploiting the weakness of women
Ads are supposed to create and to promote a certain value or object but for these beauty companies, it’s only to promote their products and to earn cash. The worse part of it is the way they exploit the weaknesses of most, if not some, women who brought the current social construct. These companies create an image of what beauty should look like and how it should be. They show that having red lips, rosy cheeks, long eyelashes or whiter skin, means you are beautiful. If you’re not anything close to the models used in the advertisement, then good luck with your life.
Beauty cannot be quantified nor can it be set. For beauty has long been decided even before you were born. You are great. You are beautiful. You are just fine.
Everyone is beautiful
It is normal for people to have their own preference of what is pretty and what isn’t. They have their ideals of who is sexy and who is not. This body shaming and objectification of beauty is mainly exacerbated by these beauty ads that constantly keeps on popping almost everywhere. Some may reason out that this isn’t the case, but the truth is more prevalent than you think. Even in beauty pageants, there is a requirement for height, face and body. If the ad makes people feel and project that everyone is beautiful, then that is a true beauty ad.
I also have to admit that part of it lies on women/men who can’t get over their insecurities. They are the ones who let these ads get the best of them or let the trend direct their lives. But they are victims too. They are victimized by both the society and the bias created by these beauty campaigns. Beauty is beautiful as it already is. We don’t have to change anything, especially who and what we truly are.
Remember, we are all created in the image of God.
The author works with a prestigious auditing firm in the Philippines. She is in her first term with the program Master in Business Administration at De La Salle University. The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty and its administrators.