This blog post is written by my daughter, Liliana, who is a true beauty in every sense of the word. At first glance this post may seem counterintuitive as we are a skincare company with beauty ads. However, here at Natana Naturals we have a unique perspective and do things differently than traditional skincare companies. We aim to truly help people improve skin conditions to where they feel confident with or without make-up. Additionally, we believe inner and outer beauty are connected. The more beautiful you feel on the outside, the better you will feel on the inside and thus be the best versions of yourself. We are about real people, with real skin challenges, and real skin results.
Beauty Ads and Their Adverse Effects: by Liliana
Ads pertaining to various products and persuading viewers to indulge in their goods and services are undoubtedly a common sight today. Younger generations can be influenced by growing up around this marketing, but what if this normalized sight turned sour? Such is the case with beauty advertisements, as they are not only absurdly dishonest, but can cause a viewer shame and in pursuit of impossibly high standards, may result in legitimate harm.
First thing’s first, women’s advertisements are blatantly lying about how people can look, as the images of these models are heavily edited in order to appear pretty. Especially since these ads are meant to sell products, it would make sense to have the ad talking about the aforementioned item to be beautiful enough to catch one’s attention. In order to understand just the extent of the editing that goes into a single picture though, look no further than Karl Taylor’s Watch This "Before and After" Photoshop Demonstration, a video which discusses the process as well as the issues with the heavy altering and depiction of women’s beauty in the media. This is all done while he takes pictures of a volunteering model and through his methods along with his differentiations, it is easy to see how the makeup, lighting, and reworking of a photo can drastically change the appearance of the person in it. Given how heavily altered the results are, it is still surprisingly easy to compare oneself to these fake faces, which is certainly something that all may experience at some point.
Secondly, these obscenely high standards set by this form of marketing, despite how false they really are, are still enough to make impressionable audiences feel shame for not reaching them. Given how ads also attempt to show why a product should be bought, it is facile to see how someone uses an item to make themselves look better, yet when used by someone in reality, the item just does not make them look as good. Because of this, one could feel bad for being nowhere near as pretty despite how simple the process to become beautiful seems to be. In order to better understand just how such a predicament could make one feel terrible though, it would be better to understand the mind and in this case, the conformity of it. In general, “The term conformity is often used to indicate an agreement to the majority position, brought about… by a desire to ‘fit in’ or be liked” (Mcleod). This shows how people want to maintain similarities and when coupled with a specific kind of conformity called internalization, exemplifies how cast out one could feel for being outside of the norm. To provide context, internalization is when the group’s general beliefs integrate with an individual both in what they show and what they think, just as how society’s idea of beauty is passed onto the minds of certain people. Aiming to combat the shame of not being as beautiful and to comply with societal standards however, some may take drastic measures to accomplish this.
Thirdly, thanks to trying to meet these aforementioned ideals, women could be driven to desperation to achieve these goals and as a result, may cause some serious self-harm. When considering just how beauty advertisements look these days, what is one notable part of the model aside from smooth, flawless skin? That would be a thin figure to go along with it. Given how a multitude of societies and cultures associate slenderness with beauty, women in ads are almost always depicted with such a feature. Due to its prevalence, this can result in an altered perspective of healthy body weight and in an attempt to reach this impossible quality, can cause women to be dissatisfied with a body type healthy for them. This can result in them doing a variety of unsafe dietary actions, including a significant decrease in calorie consumption, which can lead to anorexia (Tapia). Just to elaborate the dangers of this condition, Tapia goes on to mention that the first symptoms of anorexia are fatigue, weakness, and persistent chilliness, which can progress into insomnia, dizziness, and fainting. If left untreated, this can eventually bring about heart issues, kidney damage, and even death. Upon seeing all of these dangers nevertheless, it can be hard to believe it would all stem from a few advertisements, which is exactly what some may argue.
Finally, people may take a look at beauty ads and wonder just how pictures could cause such drastic effects in women. After all, how come society is still healthy enough to function if everyone is surrounded by other photoshopped ads, whether they are about food, services, or other such markets? Well, the editors and researchers of SoftCube have taken the liberty of collecting various bad ads that have caused issues and compiled them, whether it is Coca Cola’s 1985 commercial advertising their new change in flavor which was disliked or Xbox’s 2002 ad which was banned after receiving 136 complaints. However, every advertisement mentioned only had the effects of the public voicing their distaste for them and nothing more whereas beauty ads have also taken it a step further. In fact, Amy Roeder, a member of Harvard’s accomplished team, denotes in one of her works that “The American ideal of beauty has become so pervasive that 50% of three- to six-year-old girls worry about their weight.” With that being said, it is clear to see that beauty ads are certainly concerning, but it will be good to review just how and the extent of this danger.
All arguments considered, it is worth mentioning first of all that beauty advertisements only look so appealing because of how modified they are whereas women may feel bad for not meeting society’s ideas of how they should present themselves. Lastly, this desire to become alluring has led to a variety of eating issues, one of which being the dangerous anorexia. Beauty advertisements blatantly lie to women and bring them guilt for not looking as attractive, which inadvertently leads to potential eating disorders. Due to the immense emotional and physical danger they pose to younger generations, there should be a movement to lessen retouching on models to set more realistic ideals for beauty. It would also be beneficial to remind everyone that they are beautiful as they are, regardless of their body.
“18 Bad Advertising Examples You Must See to Avoid Failure.” Softcube Blog, 6 May 2021,
Mcleod, Saul. “What Is Conformity?” Simply Psychology, Simply Scholar Ltd. 1 Jan. 1970,
Roeder, Amy. “Advertising's Toxic Effect on Eating and Body Image.” Harvard T.H. Chan,
28 Mar. 2020,
Tapia, Allena. “Causes of Anorexia.” HealthyPlace, Healthy Place, Inc. 12 Jan. 2022,
Taylor, Karl, director. Watch This "Before and After" Photoshop Demonstration?, Youtube, 3 July
2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=318iFsOOWr8. Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.