- Overall discomfort
- Low self-esteem
- Distorted body schema
- Eating disorders
- …Want more?
What do all these things have in common? They are all effects of the idealization of the female beauty in the media sphere. Let’s watch this clip showing the process of creating a glamorous face in adverts:
It is obvious that those charming images we see on the streets, on the pages of magazines and on TV are products of a huge professional team that includes make-up artists, hairstylist, photographers, designers and editors. But this knowledge does not belittles the effect on women’s mentality that urges them 1) to buy ‘beauty’ items and 2) to feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied in their own body.
I am aware of I am not the first who discusses this problem. However, I am convinced that business still has not realised all the seriousness of the damage it may do.
The mechanism that causes psychological problems of the female consumers is quite simple. We are bombarded with lots of advertising messages every day. Specifically, those relating to the beauty industry basically say to us, ‘Look at this pretty model. You do not look like her, but you may approximate to her if you buy this product’, ‘Come on. Get more beautiful by making purchase”. No money no honey. In my opinion, this phrase is completely about beauty industry. What’s more in most cases this paradigm eliminates the idea of the initial personal beauty that is given to everyone and establishes market relationships that push women not only to buy cosmetics and ‘beauty’ pills, but also go for the radical measures like plastic surgery. Advertisers work closely with magazines that have a preference for ‘perfect’ faces as well as for slim bodies. Analysis of several articles about eating disorders in popular magazines done by Kurz and Whitehead (2008) highlights the fact that anorexia, even though showed as non-healthy, perceived much more desirable than obesity. That means that thinness is more successful in fitting the
social market (!) criteria of the ‘real’ femininity than corpulence.
I want to stop here for today and continue to talk about this issue next time. =) In the following post I am going to give concrete figures and more thoughts on this topic.
P.S. To anticipate some comments I’d like to give a well-known exemption.
Dove is an example (but the only famous one) of an attempt to exploit the image of the real natural beauty in advertising campaign. Here is pro-age advert: