21 comments on “Air-brushing a Line in the Sand

  1. I think most of the people knew that advertising add are done in a lot of tweaking. But then so many don’t see that point. So it’s our consumers responsibility to decide what we gonna spend our money to. Because beauty product companies will continue to do their thing for their products to sell. Happy Monday!

    MM-After the rain

    • I think you reach a certain age and you realise that the photos you see are tweaked. The effect on young girls – where that notion hasn’t quite sunk in – is the most damaging. However perfect images do give a repeated, subliminal message to us all, regardless opf age, *that* is what we should look like. The one instance of Twiggy and Olay above shows that people are starting to demand honest advertising. I’m just not entirely sure that honest advertising will work!

  2. And does Olay explain that discrepancy or would that be too much of an admission of guilt on airbrushing the first pic?Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to airbrush ourselves each day?!

    • Well they admit to ‘minor retouching’. I’d say it’s major …but then you’d have to define ‘minor’ and ‘major’. It’s legalese nonsense.

      Yes I would love the airbrush treatment each day – specially if it could shave off the pounds too!

  3. Oh, where to start on this one. I remember when I found out that Playboy magazine printed with 5 colors instead of 4…to enhance skin tones. No wonder few living, breathing women live up to male expectations or preferences. It always irritates me to see young, fresh-faced models (or one that has probably had some “help”) advertise wrinkle cream. As one who works in advertising, it saddens me when the message is more lie and spin than an honest representation of the benefits of the product.

    I believe as women age, they do tend to shy away from the camera for this very reason. Society rarely views the aging woman with her laugh lines, crows feet and not-so-tight skin as beautiful. Plastic surgery is a booming business. Maybe there comes a point in a woman’s life where she just doesn’t give a rip what others think. For some, it probably never comes.

    With the onset of social media and the expectation of transparency in businesses, we may see a day when overt “glossing” over is not accepted anymore. The upcoming Gen Yers have little tolerance for superficiality. And we may see that spill into how products are advertised in the future. I hope so.

    Twiggy at 60 still looks about 40. Good genes?

    • Oh, *young* faces advertising wrinkle creams irritates me. Who are they trying to kid?

      I think the backlash against airbrushing has already begun but it’s actually going to take a while to get used to seeing faces much closer to reality. There was a survey some time ago that asked young women if they wanted to see ‘real size’ models in magazines … and the answer was a fairly resounding ‘no’. ?! We seem so used to seeing impossible perfection that now, apparently, we don’t really want reality!

      I think the truth about face creams and ageing is that how we age is probably mostly down to our genetic make-up. That doesn’t stop me from slathering on the stuff … just in case. ;)

  4. I love the “honest” Twiggy portrait. She looks beautiful and real. I wish more ads would take a step in this direction.

    • Yes she does look beautiful and real, but she does have obvious wrinkles and as she’s promoting an anti-wrinkle cream I can’t help wondering how much good the Olay has done her. Would that ad tempt me to buy Olay to stave of wrinkles? I really admire her for opting to go with this more natural look and it’d be nice to think that she is the first of many to do so.

  5. Your last paragraph nails it. It makes me sad that we cannot be honest, which I think is a lot of what is wrong with today’s society.

    • Absolutely – we’re continually striving for impossible ideals and it’s a recipe for unhappiness. How many top models and superstars will be willing to follow Twiggy’s example I wonder? As long as we have those airbrushed versions sitting alongside the ‘real’ ones I suspect many of us will be swayed to buy the products promoted by the ‘perfect’ image. So how long will advertisers like Olay continue with more honest advertising?

  6. Oh so true, but I rebel against media induced conformities.

    That’s why I can do a YouTube video without make-up and be a size 12.

    I will fart in their general direction!

    • You have an inner happines now that allows you to accept yourself absolutely as you are. It’s something that I greatly admire about you and inspires me not to be so hard on myself.

      Maybe you should consider a series of self-help videos!

      • Oh my…I’m not the one for that endeavor. I am blushing through my itching sunburned skin. LOL!

  7. I loved the Dove ads that were out for a while. They showed women of all ages and they didn’t try to “pretty” everyone up. It was a great message telling women to accept themselves as they are.

    • They were great weren’t they? Such a refreshing approach. Over here they still promote lotions for older skin in a similar way and as there doesn’t seem to be any similar, easily available product, I imagine they will continue to do so. In any case, I think it was a clever move on their part. As a front runner in this type of advert their brand is now associated with honesty, giving the message that ‘you can trust Dove’..

  8. Hats off to Olay! Even if it was under pressure. We all get older, and as we get older, we wrinkle, we sag, we don’t look like we did at 20, 30, 40, or whatever that ideal age is at any given time. I appreciate the advertising world acknowledging that – hey, I know I’ve got wrinkles and sags, and I know you can’t make them go away. But if you can just minimize them the tiniest bit – every little bit helps! But don’t lie to me, don’t lead me astray. Don’t tell me Twiggy uses this product and looks 30, but when I use it I still look 60. Nothing wrong with getting older and acknowledging it. There are advantages to aging – I get senior discounts now. Do you?

    • It would be nice if the tide is starting to turn because the modern fixation on plastic surgery, collagen and botox indicates that many are absolutely terrified of showing any signs of age – and yet in other societies age denotes wisdom. Maybe in being wrapped over the knuckles for that first bit of ridiculous air-brushing, Olay have now seen the light and, like Dove, will become trend leaders.

  9. Bah! Don’t get me started on wrinkle creams. I think staying out of the sun and not smoking are the best ways to maintain a youthful complexion.

    • I think you’re probably right Kala. I use a moisturiser as an insurance policy and because my skin has become dryer as I’ve aged. However I actually suspect that how good we look at any age has more to do with genetics, and, as you say, the basics – like being careful in the sun etc.

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