This week the cosmetics industry (Lancome and Mabelline) got their hand smacked. For a practice that has run amuck lately: airbrushing. It's been done probably since the first cosmetic ad, since Max Factor pencilled in ridiculously high arches on Joan Crawford. As a society, it seems we've grown weary of this. How else does one explain the seemingly endless tabloid covers highlighting celebrity cellulite? Or the countless websites outing Stars Without Their Makeup! We want to feel normal, we want a gut check that everyone, even the beautiful people don't look like mannequins all of the time.
The UK took it a step further recently. Or rather Jo Swinson, liberal democrat MP, said a particular ad, namely this one below by Lancome featuring Julia Roberts was misleading and gave a "false impression of beauty." The ad was for Lancome's Tient Miracle, miracle being the operative word here because well, not only does it give the false impression of beauty, she looks like, as a friend of mine noted, "a character from the Polar Express" movie. No one looks like that. No one, even after pounds of Tient Miracle looks like a gossamer fairy, photographed through gauze. Come on, now. I understand that they must sell product and that it is an "aspirational" photo, but it's a bit much when you're like, "Wait, who is that?"
Officials at the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) agreed with Swinson and have banned the ad (below). I mean shoot, where do I find this Jo Swinson so I can buy her a drink?
I think Julia Roberts is beautiful, always have. I'm not suggesting she give up makeup alltogether or that the whole cosmetics industry show us real unretouched photos to sell makeup. I understand this is a business, a business mostly built on fantasy. But I like that the ad was banned. I like that in some conference room right now, the execs at Lancome are probably gathered around the photo of the airbrushed Julia with the knowledge that they are going to have to present a slightly more accurate representation of beauty, if they want to stay on the right side of the law.
More from beauty-style