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Pulled Perfection

by Crystal Ogar

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about two makeup ads being pulled in the U.K. for being misleading and heavily photoshopped. Bravo.

The ads were Maybelline’s “wrinkle eraser” starring Christy Turlington and the other was Julia Roberts for L’Oreal make-up. Both stars look as close to perfection as a woman can be.

Of course, the advertisements we see every single day are never actually the real thing. Models, actresses, and actors have every picture retouched. The surprise hero is the British watchdog group, the Advertising Standards Authority, which called them on it and, surprisingly, these ads were actually pulled.

In David Gianatasio’s Adweek article this week, he said he disagrees with the decision because he believes that retouching is actually what the consumers want. “Of course, the ads weren’t misleading in the slightest, since everyone with enough IQ points to properly operate a magazine surely knows such images are routinely altered, sweetened and enhanced. Who’d want to see Julia Roberts without retouching? She’d look like Eric Roberts in a wig. Actually, to my eye, neither woman here looks that great even with the retouching. Both seem kind of pale.” And he continues on to body police another model about her body weight. (And he wonders why these type of ads are being pulled?)

As a consumer myself, I can recognize that most advertisements are retouched and photoshopped. However, it doesn’t mean I have to support it or keep quiet about it. And that doesn’t mean that others DO know how far magazines and editors go to retouch these photos. To see how actual Photoshop works, check out this Photoshop Effect Video by Sarah from diet.com. Pretty scary stuff.

What’s great to hear is not only are the ads being pulled, but even Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson told the BBC that the ads do not accurately depict “the results that the products could achieve.” She also went on to say that such ads could cause body issues among young women! “There’s a big picture here, which is half of young women between 16 and 21 say they would consider cosmetic surgery, and we’ve seen eating disorders more than double in the last 15 years.” Swinson contributed the excessive retouching in advertising to poor body image and confidence.

Girls see over 400 advertisements per day telling them how they should look. How can someone–especially a young person–not be effected by this? Having these ads being removed and discussed is progress in itself. It’s great to know that groups like the Advertising Standards Authority are out there and paying attention and taking action on behalf of us all.

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One Response to “Pulled Perfection”

  1. Pascale says:

    I loved hearing about this. These companies should learn a thing or two from Dove. I can’t wait for the day when photoshopping becomes tacky “old news”.

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