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Cosmetic War: The Influence Of Cosmetic Advertising In Our Society

1695 words - 7 pages

Cosmetic War: 
The Influence of Cosmetic Advertising in our Society
Advertising has become a massive part of our social environment, and can be seen at large throughout any industrialized society. Nowadays it is virtually impossible to avoid ads while carrying on with your daily life. Our daily dosage comes from television, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, and most recently, social media, among others. The average person is exposed to as many as 5,000 advertisements a day, and nearly 10,000,000 in their lifetime (Gustafson). With that said, advertising’s impact in society is so prevalent that if advertisers do not take caution, it can also become easily detrimental. Cosmetic ...view middle of the document...

Cosmetic advertising relies heavily on retouched photographs to make women on their advertising appear near perfect, a highly unrealistic beauty standard for all humans, even models.
Advertising has the ability to shape the direction our society leans in terms of what is considered beautiful (Borden 50). It has the power to dictate trends, fads and styles, as well as what are appropriate and desirable traits among mainly women. A good example of this has to do with eyebrow shape and thickness. For a few years, thick eyebrows were undesirable, unladylike, and a trait that women wanted to steer away from. However, with current advertising portraying thick, full eyebrows as beautiful, they are back to being a desirable and sought out trait. Advertising dictates what is considered “in,” causing women to purchase products to help them achieve the look deemed as suitable. The problem with this is that aside from claiming that their product has been “proven to work,” cosmetic advertising rarely provides us with any scientific proof or information about the product’s actual benefits. Advertisers are experts at making superfluous products sound beneficial instead of expressing its good circumstances and shortcomings (Albion and Paul 50). They can make certain cosmetics appear to be more functional than they actually are, scientifically.
Cosmetic companies should be more responsible when it comes to their ads because they tend to give an unrealistic and false interpretation of their products, causing negative effects on women’s perception of beauty and causing discontent with their own appearance. With so much cosmetic advertising out there blurring women’s perception of reality, it is easy to fall victim to these highly manipulated and altered images of models that have used the product being advertised. This specific form of advertising is only effective if the target audience is discontent with their current appearance, so a large part of cosmetic advertising includes belittling women subtly, making them feel unattractive, and causing them to have a demand for the product being advertised. If the standard of beauty in advertisings were not so high, the purchase of these products would decrease as well. Advertisers rely on making women feel this way in order for their advertising to be successful. Airbrushed skin, Photoshopped body dimensions and color editing are a few of the ways advertisers reach these unrealistic standards of beauty in their advertisements.
Another important part of cosmetic advertising is the amount of importance that is placed on physical appearance. Ideas such as “the first impression is the one that counts” resonate with women who rely on these cosmetics to improve their appearances. Physical appearance in our society has an acute effect on how you are perceived, and thus treated by others. Cosmetic advertising depends on these concerns in order to...

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