Saturday, 30 July 2011

BEAUTY - The Advert Airbrushing Debate Continues

So we are taking a stand against unrealistic images of women and celebrities in our advertising. I for one agree that we need to tone things down. Airbrushing on the scale of those shown in the video above makes women appear flawless, but often they even look unreal. Once you start taking out the natural shadows of the face and those little lines that occur through expression you don't really have a human any more. I remember a Marie Claire cover with Courtney Cox on and they had removed every trace of imperfection around her mouth and in the end her mouth looked like it had just just been plonked onto a beige circle. We want to see character in a face and airbrushing removes this.

Now I do appreciate the other side of the argument too. I like the pictures in my magazine to be aspirational and I don't mind thinking, "wow, she looks good in this ad". But a healthy dose of realism would benefit us all. Otherwise, we'll probably see disclaimers on beauty adverts, just like the mascara caveats we now have on ads. 

Debenhams also did a big campaign around swimwear airbrushing where they showed before and after shots. You can vote on the issue at the Debenhams blog.

Where do you stand on the debate? Should beauty ads be banned if they over-do the airbrushing and retouching?
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