Carbon Copy Cuties

Our media encourages women to believe their natural bodies are unattractive. To fix this, they must buy products to “improve” their appearances. Corporations want to milk the most money out of this vicious plot. Along with bombarding women with photoshopped, airbrushed, and otherwise unreal images of women, body parts are broken into separate problems, all with a product solution. Want perfect lips? Buy this lipstick!

L’oreal’s Colour Riche Privee Collection ad depicts a group of conventionally attractive women chatting and smiling blithely as they put on lipstick. The commerical implies that wearing L’oreal’s lipstick will make you beautiful, popular, happy, and distinctive. “It’s totally unique,” one woman claims, looking at the viewer. How will buying a mass-produced product make you unique? It’s especially jarring because the models are all so similar-looking, I had difficulty telling their faces apart, including the few that were not white. Placing so many “beautiful” models side by side just drives home how narrow our concept of beauty is.

It’s no surprise that being bombarded with these strict, false images of beauty harms women’s self esteems. “A woman was twice as likely to rate her attractiveness as low, between 1-3 (on a scale of 1 to 10), than a man was.” (Hesse-Biber 63) The plot was successful; now, women strive to become carbon copies.

Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy. “Selling the Body Beautiful: Food, Dieting, and Recovery.” The Cult of Thinness. New York: Oxford UP, 2007. 61-82. Print.

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