Saturday, March 19, 2011

Which came first? The judgement or the ad?

The image of the beautiful woman has been plastered on billboards and in magazines and commercials. But who is she? Apparently, she is not me. Nor the majority of my friends or family. She is taller than me, but weighs less. Her waist is skinnier, but her breasts are larger. Now, don’t get me wrong, she is still beautiful and I hope she feels that way. But the problem is not in whether or not she is beautiful, but whether women who don’t look like her feel beautiful even though they are underrepresented. I would argue that they don’t.

A part of me would like to examine the callous argument that every woman knows this is not how they MUST look. A part of me feels that the advertisement is just an extension of the public’s judgements, something people need to be prepared for in order to build up a self-esteem in

the face of adversity. For example, bullies have and will always a part the middle and high school experience and people like to blame them for the reasons why teens commit suicide, or decide to shoot up the whole school. But no, a normal reaction to bullying is to become stronger, or ignore it; not take your life of the lives of others. Everyone has been bullied and everyone is prepared to face adversity in the real world. If high school was sunshine and rainbows it would misrepresent the real world and the challenges we need to deal with. If ads showed every woman and every body type, ethnicity and age it would not represent society’s views on beauty. The ads give women a chance to know what they’re up against, and feel

even more beautiful when they decide to feel that way themselves in the face of adversity.

This is how I wish it was, but I must say that it angers me to think I could argue for these ads. Bullying is something we can hardly change, but advertisers can change advertisements very easily. The truth is, we DON’T need to prepare ourselves to face society and it’s judgements, because advertisements have manufactured these judgements. They sell ideas that we have accepted, although we say we realize they’re not true. We know beautiful women on the posters don’t even look like that and that photoshop, lighting tricks and tons of makeup create the illusion, but we still find ourselves working out, going on diets and even resorting to plastic surgery to change something about ourselves while we convince ourselves it’s a need that comes from within, rather than from the images that are all throughout.

Advertisements need to show every woman and society needs to treat every woman as beautiful as the next- or is it the other way around? I wish that advertisers would run a campaigns that showed real women, but didn’t need to sell the idea by screaming “THIS US SAYING WE’RE USING REAL WOMEN! WE’RE NOT LIKE THE OTHER GUYS. YOU’RE ALL BEAUTIFUL!” The ad above should not need giant label saying "Yes, she's old and ads don't use people like her. We know you hate this, so here ya go! Buy our stuff because we're the good guys!" It is almost as if the ad is apologizing for itself. Instead, how about ads just represented everyone and no one has to think “Wow, that’s odd that they used HER as a model. I like that.” But instead, look at the ads as normally as we look at the multitude of people around us, seeing nothing wrong, odd or pre-conceived.


  1. We should face our real self and the real fact. In real life, no one is perfect. Everyone will get old. There’s nothing wrong to have a model who is old in ads.

  2. I felt the same way when I looked at this ad. To me, it says, "LOOK AT US!! We're using an old woman!!! woohoo!!" Meanwhile, to actually make an impact, the advertisers should just USE her, because she is what many, many women resemble.

    There was another point you made, earlier on in this piece that I wanted to comment on. It is frustrating to respond to those who say, "Oh, I know that she doesn't respresent me," while at the same time, these women rush to the mall to get that lipstick color, that Longchamp bag, or that Calvin Klein coat. You may say, she doesn't resemble you, but that is only temporarily... you buy the things she has on. Then you'll be just like her. It is easy to say, oh advertisers can change ads very easily, but the fact is, they can't. They are in the business of making money, and unfortunately, changing the ads, in their minds, won't continue to increase their profits. It would have to be an entire upheaval, across the board. How do you think we could achieve this in reality?

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  4. People really need to come to reality that we like Li said we are all going to get old. The sooner we learn the better we will be. The "beauty myth" has to be removed, because if we don't you'll see more people specifically women,feeling more self-conscious about the looks.

  5. I agree with what you said about the last ad. It is clearly apologizing for the image it is displaying and i dont get why. If your trying to sent the message that ads for an older demographic need to use older individuals then why apologize for using an older individual in yours. And btw i happen to think the image is beautiful. But is the idea that young women nude in advertisement is okay and older women isnt? Is that why shes nude? Otherwise why is she nude at all? Don't get me wrong, its unexpected, shocking and beautiful all in one image but what is it really saying? Sorry i'm rambling.