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Misleading L'Oréal ads banned from future publication in UK

posted by whimsicalperfection on July 28, 2011 12:31 am

The long-running debate on Photoshop and beauty advertisements is well, still on-going. To some extent, I believe most of us do understand that advertisements are invariably airbrushed, Photoshopped, and essentially, made 'perfect' for publication. Celebrities do it for their image and reputation, companies, for their profits and good sales. That said, there has been a fair share of Photoshop Disasters over the years by sloppy photoshop skills.


I didn't start out having the intention to blog about this issue seriously, and I still don't have the intention to. Nonetheless, if you're interested, feel free to read some of my disorganized thoughts about this issue, and forgive the rambly parts.


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But just how far can such advertisements go before they're deemed misleading? L'Oréal advertisements featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington (spokesperson for Lancôme and Maybelline respectively) have been pulled from the UK, after complains from UK MP Jo Swinson that "Swinson complained that images of both celebrities had been digitally manipulated and were "not representative of the results the product could achieve", and were judged to be an "exaggeration", and "misleading", and therefore "banned them from future publication". You can read the entire news article here on The Guardian.


In Singapore, we have our fair share of such advertisements, especially mascaras. I take an issue with mascaras in particular, because the ads have always felt heavily photoshopped, or at least, that the celebrities are almost always wearing falsh eyelashes. For other makeup products, we see absolutely perfect and flawless skins on models for foundation ads. True, the foundation may be working wonders. But even then, L'oreal UK admitted that the Maybelline advertisement had been "digitally retouched to lighten the skin, clean up makeup, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows".


While i don't intend to dwell too long on this issue, I wonder if we, as savvy consumers of the Internet age, should take some responsibility in knowing that such ads do not always reflect reality. There are always a group of girls who do wholeheartedly believe in hiding beneath a mask of foundation, which I find highly disturbing.


And it is the lack of this obsession that draws me to people like Lisa Eldridge - as an internationally acclaimed celebrity makeup artist, she does not believe in hiding all the skin under thick layers of foundation. Her acne-covering tutorial is by far one of the best tutorials I've seen in Youtube.


But I digress. Beauty commercials and advertisements these days appear to promote beauty, but beauty for what, whom, and why? It's a pity that L'oreal, once a company that grew during the first wave of feminism in USA, has, together with so many other beauty companies, choose to abandon their early marketing campaigns. Cosmetics used to be an object of empowerment, the ability of women to decide how they want to look like. But I wonder just how much of this is true these days, with girls fast becoming slaves to their makeup products for a facade of beauty.


Always remember:

"Because I'm worth it"

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