Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I love Photoshop and all those wonderful programs that allow me to play with my pictures. That said, since I very first discovered how easy it is to manipulate pictures, my distrust of print media has continued to grow.

I've watched as images in the media become more and more unreal, particularly those of women. I'm aware that photos have always been manipulated, but really, things have gotten completely out of hand.

I've watched as women's skin got smoother, their eyelashes longer and thicker, their teeth whiter, their legs longer, their waists tinier, their breasts bigger . . .

It's all unreal, and a part of my brain knows that, but still, it seems to beat into our collective consciousness that this is possible. And it isn't, that's just the truth.

Now, it seems that the Advertising Standards Authority in Great Britain has thrown down the gauntlet against the advertising industry. They've started policing ads, barring those that use "overly perfected and unrealistic images". While I'm not necessarily in favor of government policing the press, I have to say I'm in favor of this.

This is the latest photo that has been banned.

L'Oreal would like us to believe
that if we use their anti wrinkle cream
(Revitalift Repair 10),
we can all look like this . . .

I don't believe that even Rachel Weisz, lovely as she is, looks like this!

Here's a quote from the letter that the ASA sent to L'Oreal regarding the ad.
"We told L’OrĂ©al Paris to ensure that they did not use post-production techniques in a way that misrepresented what was achievable using the advertised product. Although we considered that the image in the ad did not misrepresent the luminosity or wrinkling of Rachel Weisz’s face, we considered that the image had been altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even. We therefore concluded that the image in the ad … misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product in relation to the claims ‘SKIN LOOKS SMOOTHER’ and ‘COMPLEXION LOOKS MORE EVEN’.”

And here's the response from L'Oreal

“We do not believe the ad exaggerates the effect that can be achieved using this product.”


See, this is what happens to me when I'm stuck inside, sick. I must have too much time on my hands. I'll get off my soapbox now.


Jerry and Suzy said...

Kate -- I'm guilty of a little photo editing too. A soft focus effect is wonderful for a lady's complexion, whitening of teeth is an improvement for most any of us. But we have to remember that even Leonardo da Vinci had a little latitude with his paint brush. and Rafael certainly idealized his gracious ladies and angels. And does any of us believe that Israel's Kind David walked around looking like that? I think that is what's called "artistic license." However, you make a good point about misrepresentation in advertising.

Gaelyn said...

Nobody looks like that without a lot of tweaking.

Merikay said...

I don't relly cre if I looked 20 years younger, I just wish I felt that way!

Angie said...

I would not have recognized Rachel Weiss if you had not stated who the woman in the photo was. Lately, I have seen more & more photos of famous people who I should recognize, but don't due to the photo manipulation. I'm tired of the over-manipulation of all photos. I'm also tired of the anti-wrinkle ads that use 25 year-olds without wrinkles to advertise their "miracle" products. Having said all this, I don't relish the idea of the gov't interfering in this matter. Well, I guess I just joined you on your soapbox. :~)