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Many women around the world get out of bed every morning, starting the day off with a common routine… putting their makeup on. This practice does not only refer to adult women; elementary school children have already been hit by our popular culture. How has this evolved and what affect does this have on our society today? The idea of masking our face seems absurd; who decided that long lashes and red lips was beautiful anyways? This common practice can be traced back as far as the Ancient Egyptian Times. Although the techniques and products used were very different than today, the idea of ‘enhancing’ one’s facial characteristics has not changed. Our mass distribution of advertisements is what publicizes the cosmetic industries worldwide. Not only are television commercials, radio ads, newspapers, magazines, and billboards an influential media outlet; every product label is a form of advertisement. Each container of ‘beauty’ and ‘health care’ products include persuasive gimmicks that push women to purchase these brands. For example: anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, blemish free, longer lasting, waterproof, clearer pores, light finish, dark glow, ‘all natural’, fast acting, oil free and so on. These are all catch phrases that lure millions of women in every day, thinking this is what they NEED to become ‘that girl’ in the magazine. “L’Oréal is the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company” (wiki). With the universally recognized slogan directed towards women, “because your worth it”, it sends out a completely falsifiable message. This phrase is actually stating that those who are not worth it do not use these beauty products, or those who do not use these beauty products are not worth it. How does that make you feel? The constant advertising we are fed from the media tells us that we need to continuously enhance ourselves in order to be beautiful. Without their specific products, we will not achieve these class standards.
The definition of makeup is just as it is said, MAKE-UP. Like dressing-up when you were a child or playing make-believe with friends, it was fake but entertaining and pleasurable in the moment. Cosmetics are absolutely no different! We are creating a fake image of ourselves through chemicals that we apply to our face in order to feel good for that particular moment in time. Underneath it all, we know that this is not a true representation of ourselves, so we therefore cover up a piece of who we are. Isn’t that the most special aspect of life, that every human being on this Earth is unique? Now we see ‘that girl’, artificially plastered across the page and we become another piece in the industry’s game. Instead of accepting ourselves for who we are and realizing ‘that girl’ never does and never will look like that in real life, we become not only a consumer, but a product of these mass corporations. “The United States is the biggest cosmetic market in the world, with a total revenue of about 53.70 billion U.S. dollars and employing about 52,512 people in 2011”(Schulz). As discussed in lecture, we are slowly putting more emphasis on advertisement awareness to inform women on the ‘inconvenient truth’ about cosmetic companies. The Dove Evolution video that we saw in class is a great example of how distorted our culture has become. The measures women go in attempt to be socially admirable and appealing is corrupt. Now, measures need to be taken in order to cease these contagious and socially constructed ideals. Commercializing makeup does far more harm than one can see. I believe this temporary beauty is damaging women worldwide.
JS

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L’Oréal
http://www.statista.com/topics/1008/cosmetics-industry/

Dove Video:

Image:

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One thought on “Commercializing Makeup

  1. Interesting blog! I actually did not recognize that almost all products made for women have some sort of “anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, blemish free, longer lasting, waterproof, clearer pores, light finish, dark glow, ‘all natural’, fast acting, oil free” signs on them!

    I find that even though products have these kinds of labels on them, a lot of them do not actually “do” what is says it is supposed to do. In addition, I personally think that “covering up” parts where one does not feel confident in, is not a bad idea. However, in society today this has become severe… to a point where an individual is NOT themselves anymore after their makeover. Is this really necessary? Clearly, beauty ads (like Dove) are implying that perfect skin, healthy hair, big eyes, etc. define “beauty” so people without these “criteria’s” lose their confidence and feel worthless.

    Let’s hope that advertising companies REALIZE that they need to stop advertising fake things because the outcomes due to these type of advertisements are not too pretty. Yet, I feel like it might take some time for companies to change, unfortunately.

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