The Problem with Airbrushed Celebrities

An advertisement for L’Oreal Revitalift skincare that features Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz has recently been banned by British Regulators, because it is, quite simply misleading to women, the targeted consumers who will be buying the product.

Airbrushed Celebrities

Reason why the L’Oreal Revitalift skincare ad was banned

The two photos of the actress that accompany the write up make it very clear that Weisz’s skin is nowhere near as flawless as the manufacturers would have us believe. Clearly the flaws andimperfections of the skin have been smoothed out, the skin is visibly younger and it is all down to the skill of a Photoshop artist.

The ad has been banned because it clearly misrepresents what the product can and will do for a woman’s skin. While it is obvious that the consumer expects some amount of glamour (read artifice) and expects that an advertiser will only present a product in the most positive light, what we see here is so exaggerated as to be misleading to women.

L’Oreal has come out in defense of both the ad as well as their product, saying that the image is a “true representation” of the actress, and that the product does in fact improve 10 different signs of aging.

The problem with airbrushing celebrities

The problem here is dual: consumers are being misled into buying products based on false claims. Products are bought because of what women think they will do for their skin, whereas the product has no such ability.

The second problem is that seeing all that seeming perfection in the media: flawless, smooth and glowing skin with not a line or blemish can be discouraging for real, regular women who have real regular skin, complete with freckles, spots, lines, bumps and discolorations.

To begin with, celebrities have a lot of help of stylists and highly skilled makeup artists to make them look terrific. And in recent times photoshopping celebrities to look younger, taller, thinner, flawless and generally better looking than they really are has become the norm, so that the general public has little or no idea what they really look like!

Add to this the fact that celebrities routinely undergo cosmetic surgeries and other expensive procedures to appear younger than they are. Botox, face lifts, chemical peels, liposuction, collagen fillers and a whole host of other procedures are used to appear younger and better looking than nature meant them to be. So really, what is a consumer to believe!

In conclusion, women would do well to take all manufacturer claims about “reducing wrinkles” and “smoothing lines” with a grain of salt, look beyond the Photoshop and expect only modest results at best!


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