England Bans Airbrushed Ad

Stephanie Gosk wrote a surprising article for MSNBC.com explaining how the British government recently forced the cosmetic giant L’Oreal to remove an ad featuring the American actress Julia Roberts. The reason? False advertising.

Roberts appeared in an ad promoting the brand’s newest age defying products. When approached by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), L’Oreal admitted that airbrushing was used to…

‘”lighten the skin, clean up makeup, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows,’ but that the benefits of the facial cream were not misrepresented.”

In a statement from L’Oreal on the Turlington [another actress] ad, the company writes, “Even though the ad features an obviously illustrated effect, some lines are still clearly visible beneath the illustration and we do not believe that the ad exaggerates the effect that can be achieved using this product.”

A brief observation…

We are bombarded with a constant stream of images that undoubtedly affect how we see both ourselves and other people. If Julia Roberts doesn’t look attractive enough to showcase your facial cream, doesn’t that say something rather significant? What does it say about our values and culture that even the most attractive people in the world need to be “airbrushed” before they can appear in an advertisement? Do you think that we are unaffected? How about young girls?

Moms and Dads, this might be a good story to bring up at the dinner table. It could lead to a discussion about the importance of inner beauty vs outer beauty and which is more important to God. Of course we’d be naive to think that this is just an issue for our kids as if we are unaffected by media definitions of beauty.

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