Thursday, 6 March 2014

Pretty in Plastic.

There’s a billboard advert sprung up around the Sainsbury’s store in Ashbourne. It’s for some health product or other, and the backdrop to the minimal text shows the face of a young woman of around late twenties or thirty.

A very pretty face it is, too – well formed features, clear eyes, perfect make up and impeccably styled hair. But that’s all; there’s no trace of character or personality anywhere in sight.

No doubt it’s intended to represent some sort of ideal for the modern world. ‘This is what you can aspire to, girls, if only you use our product.’ Well now, it reminds me of something one of my daughter’s boyfriends said to her once:

‘Pretty girls are ten a penny. If you want to be attractive – let alone beautiful – you need a hell of a lot more than just a pretty face.’

Indeed you do. You can, after all, make a plastic doll look pretty enough.

Some advertisers recognise this fact and give their female stereotypes a modicum of personality. It’s usually of a fairly shallow variety, but at least it’s a step along the way. You’d think the makers of a health product would know better, wouldn’t you?


Anthropomorphica said...

Absolutely Jeff, I find it disturbing how plastic everything is becoming. Tinkering with portraits has gone on for as long as people have been painted or photographed but it's reaching a whole new level. It's not just a little flattery anymore.
I feel for young girls growing up with these photoshopped ideals that can never be attained.
By the way, have you seen any of the human barbie doll nonsense?

JJ Beazley said...

Human barbie doll? No. Do advise.

Anthropomorphica said...

Here you go

JJ Beazley said...

Most interesting. I wonder whether she realises that the only people who play with Barbie dolls are pre-pubescent girls. The ability to subsist on air and light alone is, of course, an established belief in Hindu tradition. What would I know?