Beauty Product TV Ads

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.
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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 :)
Kejruna

Mirrors ¦ srorriM

Sometimes I wonder what this world would be like without mirrors.
I’d like to think that it would be a better place. A place with more acceptance, more freedom, and less self-doubts. I’d like to think that there would be less pressure to look “perfect”. More tolerance for different kinds of beauty, less teasing, and less hateful bashing.

Would it though? Would it really change things for the better? Maybe people would still get laughed at, only without being able to see that it happens without a reason. Maybe people would still destroy lives by expecting the impossible, the “flawless” according to some made-up ideals.

I look in the mirror and I see someone who doesn’t fit this concept of perfection. But who says that only who fits it can be beautiful? Who says that this “perfect” has to be what we all strive for? There might be some little things I don’t overly like about my face, but I accept them. They make me special. They are part of me. They help creating a unique person who can be loved by others, and, most importantly, by myself.

Nobody should make fun of you for your appearance, or any other reason, but if they do, look at yourself. They laughed at your nose? Your skin? Your hair? Look at it and realise that there is no reason that the way you look should be labelled any worse than some created ideal.

Make the best out of mirrors. Use them to see that you don’t look worse than others. Use them to acknowledge that you are different, and that you are your own version of perfection. Accept and like even what others make fun of, and next time someone bullies you it will hit a wall of steel. A wall created by your confidence. Created by the love you have for yourself,

I might not know you, but I know you must be beautiful in your own, unique way.
Kejruna

Superficiality

I have discussed this with a lot of different people and it is something I feel very strongly about, so when it came up again a few weeks ago while I was talking to a friend of mine, I felt the need to write about it. Originally it was just about writing down my thoughts, but now I decided to put it on my blog because it still strikes me how much the worry about looks can define someone’s life.
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When I’m at the train station and hear people talk, it strikes me. When I’m in a restaurant, it strikes me. When I’m at university, it strikes me. When I watch TV, it strikes me. When I talk to people, it strikes me. When I think about myself, it strikes me. It’s everywhere: fashion, appearance, superficiality.

I am a proud defender of the looks shouldn’t matter “philosophy”. I don’t wear something because it’s fashionable, but because I like it and because I feel good in it. I don’t mind going grocery shopping in my stay-at-home clothes and without putting makeup on, and I’m interested in people’s personalities. It even goes to the point where I find myself judging others who dress according to the latest fashion because I classify them in the group of people who adapt to what others like instead of expressing themselves. Of course, this is just as wrong, since they might simply like that particular style, and of course they are of as free to wear what they want as I am; so I always remind myself right away that I should not have prejudices.

But what I do not find ok is the pressure society puts on people. The pressure to fit in, the pressure to adapt, the pressure to shine in order to be accepted. Unfortunately we’re not talking about a shining personality here, but about a shining physique. I think it’s alright to dress nicely, and care about your looks, if you like doing it. I do that as well, but only to a certain degree, or for certain occasions. It should not be necessary because you’ll get laughed at if you don’t. And it should not be your one and only concern.

I do not deny the importance of the physical aspect in human relationships. I agree that looks influence how you feel about a person, especially about strangers, because it’s all the information you have about them. But we should at least try to stay open and give people a chance to show us more about them. There’s always so much more to a person than the looks, so how can we decide whether we like someone if we only have that one small part? Again, it is probably an important part, but not the most important, and definitely not the only one.

What bugs me even more is that people fear to be judged for their looks by their friends. Their FRIENDS who, according to me, are supposed to know and like them for their personality. That is just so wrong… I know that we grow up surrounded by all these expectations and also the media constantly talking about beauty and dress codes, but why do we let a few people who have a known name and apparently some power decide what is considered to be beautiful and what is not? Isn’t beauty just another social construct? It is subjective, so there is no way to define one specific way of being beautiful. And why is beauty so often reduced to the outside? Because it is a social construct it is hard to break out of it, I’m aware of that, and I don’t claim to always succeed in it. But I try to be aware of it and surround myself with people who believe in me instead of believing in my clothes, hairstyle and make-up.

Have a wonderful day and just feel good about yourself!
Kejruna