Friday, 9 December 2011

Advertising Bodies

Earlier this week,I read an interesting article talking about the representation of the female body in advertising. The government are currently during up a voluntary pledge for brands to conquor body confidence, especially for young women. This pledge comes at a time when airbrushing is acceptable in advertisement, including film posters such as the American poster version of King Arthur, where Knightly recieved a free digital boob-job.
Left: UK poster, Right: American Version.

The pledge comes with backing from MP Jo Swinson, who complained again L'Oréal's posters which featured actress Julia Roberts who looked overly airbrushed. 'Swinson complained that images of both celebrities had been digitally manipulated and were "not representative of the results the product could achieve"." Guardian, 27th July 2011. Good for Swinson, I mean look at the image. It glows with computer manipulation.

The Advertising Standards Agency[ASA] refused the advert, mainly down to L'Oréal not being able to provide the original pre-production images. When a company does not want to release pictures to proove their innocence, it reaks of guilt.

Also this week, H&M have been critisized for thier new digitilized models on their sites. The clothes are shot on mannequins which are then digitally manipulated to look more human. They have also used another technique where 'shot real models for the campaign, but only to superimpose their heads on the standard body form,' How sodding ridiculous. That is a new step bridging a gap between the customer and the brands images that they use on their site. It also mocks models for what they do, as well as also pressuring women to look a certain way. The digital figures are dainty, nowhere near the natural average of 14/16. A company spokesperson 'insists that they only settled on a single “default” body because they wanted a standard base on which to display the clothing.' AT LEAST USE SOMEONE WE CAN RELATE TO. They might have well as used a blow up doll or AN ACTUAL MANNEQUIN! If a company uses a model, natural figure or even celebrity, at least they would be endorsing themselves as a company who can relate to womens bodies and their needs.

 All the photos I have seen so far,including this one above,entirely digitilized, looks horrifically unnatural and uncomfortable. It makes me think the poor woman has a crooked limbs thanks to the strange shadowing on her left arm.

Women have enough on their plate dealing with children, work, men[big children] amongst everything else to have to worry about looking perfect for everyone else. The fact that there are so many beauty adverts thrusted in magazines so that women are peer pressured to look unnaturally younger. And do these products actually work? Of course they do... if you eat well,excersize regulary, do not smoke, do not drink alcohol and live a stress free life with the perfect sleeping patterns. And that is given that you have a natural perfect skin condition anyway. These products are bull, and women are a fool for buying them. You are better off mixing your own concoction of of oats, honey and natural yogurt or whatever people suggest on blogs and messageboards. Those, at least, are natural products and you know what they are. No one really knows what those long worded ingredients are that go into skin creams.

What L'Oréal and H&M have failed to do is to relate to their audience. All we want, like we do from men, is honesty, and for them to actually understand what we want. Perhaps a cream that helps us age slightly more gracefully but show us an un-airbrushed Julia Roberts, or even show us the clothes how they look on a petite, but real human being. Don't give us your bullshit. We are in the 21st Century, women can think for themselves and we think this is insane.

Government Targets Beauty Brands via Marketing
H&M New Models Via
Banning L'oreal Via Guardian
MP Jo Swinson On Twitter

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