Sorry for my incredibly long absence! I recently took my BA exams and the months before that were a bit chaotic. Hopefully I’ll have some more time again now. This text is more of a rant than a creative text or poem, but it’s a topic I’ve wanted to write about for a while and tonight I decided to just put it out there.
I am not a big fan of TV ads in general (I guess most of us are not), but what really gets my blood boiling in most of the cases are beauty product ads. Not just on TV, but in general, I often notice these phenomena in magazines or any other ad type, as well. In my experience, lots of ads use the following statements in one way or another (either implicitly or straigt out):
You NEED said product to a) be confident and/ or b) succeed (be it in relationships, at school, or in the business world)
In my opinion, this is problematic on many levels. The confidence part implies that being confident without the product is not an option, when I am convinced most of us would do just fine without. I am not saying that beauty products cannot help you gain confidence, but it is important to stress that there are also other ways to self-acceptance and, if you do not want to use them to become confident, you do not have to.
The success aspect is even more complex, because it puts pressure on people and demonstrates “social expectations”, like having to look a certain way for a certain job. Again, yes, in some jobs a certain physique is required, but a) this is not always actually the case and b) it is questionable if the advertised product will actually make the difference. It is also problematic due to the fact that it often aims at giving people all they need in order to “fit in” (for instance at school) which is not very encouraging to kids to be themselves and love their bodies and appearances. This obviously also links back to the confidence aspect.
I do not have a problem with beauty products. I use them myself and I also get that advertisement is meant to get people to buy products. But this is exactly why I feel the need to remind you that they are an option and a choice, not a must-have. Ads like this reinforce beauty ideals made up by our society (or, on a larger scale, this world’s societies) and thus reduce diversity and individuality, which I find quite a shame. They should be seen as accessories, rather than necessities.
I know, people have become more and more aware of this over the past few years, celebrities have raised awareness for it, and so on. Nevertheless, I still see these ads and in them, little has changed, as far as my experience goes, which is why I felt the need to write about this issue, even though many others already have done so before me. Maybe it will be a little reminder to all of us to be critical of what we perceive through media.
Have a great day and please remind yourself of how amazing you are, especially without any beauty products :)