L’Oréal: Beauty for All.

Beauty for All, is an advertisement made by L’Oreal, promoting that everyone has a chance to be beautiful and L’Oreal will be the aid for low confident individuals to be beautiful. However, what is beauty and what defines a person to be beautiful? Will someone look in the mirror after using L’Oreal products and suddenly gain loads of self-confidence?

Beauty is for everyone and it is hegemonic in daily life. Media takes a huge part in defining what beauty is and it is problematic since majority of the people believe that beauty is based on an individual’s outer appearance. Big eyes, high nose, small face, clean skin without any scars or blemishes, white toned skin and skinny. This is probably how majority of the people defines women who are ‘beautiful’. (I believe that the word ‘beautiful’ has its own femininity attached to the meaning of the word. It is highly unlikely to call a masculine men ‘beautiful’. Therefore, I am going to pass explaining what society defines beauty in men). Some people who do not meet the standard points of beauty goes through plastic surgery, diet products and many more aids to push themselves it into line of beauty constructed by our society. Furthermore, there are TV programs such as The Swans, which shows criticism publicly on individual’s appearance before the surgery and praising after the surgery. The term beauty is slowly becoming another adjective to describe only the outer appearance.

I believe it is the same deal for beauty as it is for gender, gender is constructed by the society and majority of the people tries to fit their child or themselves into these two unchangeable boxes. Similar for beauty, there are set boxes for what society think is beautiful, and many people try hard to fit themselves into these boxes regardless of their gender, race or their identity. This is a little problematic because our standard beauty is rooted from a western popular culture and media. Regardless of their race, majority of the people tries to change themselves in order to look like a beautiful Caucasian women. Everyone should realize that everyone is beautiful just the way they are. To show another point of view, Dove produced a similar advertisement to promote that women usually have lower self-perception than who they truly are. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, is a similar advertisement to promote and boost women’s self-perception by sketching what women think of themselves and what others thinks of that women.

But why is beauty so influential in our daily lives? It is hard to say that beauty is not a big part of opportunities offered in life. It is true that people are given different chances and opportunities depending on how they look and how they are reflected on other’s perception. That is probably the crucial part why individuals cannot give up being beautiful to someone’s eyes. People define themselves as ugly or have lower self-perception just because they don’t fit into the standard what our society has set us in. But I believe that both companies, L’Oreal and Dove is trying to tell us that everyone is beautiful and there is no need for us to fit ourselves into the boxes that society has set for us.

Overall, L’Oreal did a great job delivering the overall message, but it is true that they haven’t taken other confounding variables into consideration. L’Oreal presented an advertisement titled Beauty for All, however, after I saw this advertisement, I wondered, is L’Oreal really offering beauty for all the individuals? My answer is no. L’Oreal presented an advertisement featuring varieties of ethnicity and age but that was all. If L’Oreal hoped to target ‘all’ the customers in our society, the advertisements should have considered many different factors that makes up beauty, such as different gender identities, more varieties of race, different types bodies and faces.

 

In conclusion, I believe that although beauty is a powerful factor in life and society, it should not be the hegemonic factor when it comes to interacting with other people. Dove advertisement was just an extra piece that I found was more convincing than L’Oreal. I personally believe that L’Oreal should have modified their true message to one that is more applicable to many other identities around the world, because they say they are promoting ‘beauty for all’ but in the video, the people who were getting self-confidence from their product were people who pretty much met the standards of beauty in society. On the other hand, regardless of how people look in Dove’s advertisement, their true message is to boost their customer’s self-perception and confidence. Overall message of both advertisements are great, but it would’ve been more amazing and agreeable if L’Oreal could have considered more variables when it comes to their customers. Also, it would have boosted their qualities in message if they did not focus too much on the outer beauty of individuals.

 

 

Dove Real Beauty Sketches. Doveunitedstates, 2013. Web. 31 Mar 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE&gt;.

Peter, Lindbergh, dir. Beauty for All. L, 2014. Web. 31 Mar 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McCUVz-5Ygc&gt;.

 

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3 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed your dissection of this advertisement. I agree with you that the word beautiful has a feminine connotation. Maybe that could be the reason why women feel more pressure to be skinny and white, fitting into all these categories that deem us attractive?
    A survey conducted in 2012 found that the majority of young women would rather be attractive than intelligent (You can find the article about this survey here: http://thehoneyballbuzz.com/2012/03/01/survey-claims-young-women-would-rather-be-attractive-than-intelligent/)
    The pressure to be beautiful, or rather what society and media has deemed as beautiful, is becoming a major stressor in the lives of women. We need to change the hegemonic idea of beauty and convince all women that they are beautiful no matter what their dress size is, regardless of how big their head is or large their nose is, ignoring whether their teeth are not perfect or their skin is darker. L’Oreal could have achieved this by doing exactly what you suggested, taking women that don’t fit into this societal perception of beauty and showing them how beautiful they truly are.

  2. I really do find your article intriguing, and I agree with your point that L’ Oreal did not successfully relay the message Beauty for All. The reason for this is because like you stated they did not target all aspects that make someone beauty in the ad they only had people who were displayed as being skinny there were no plus sized people at all. Also I found that when they did show other races it was not in the same way as they showed white people, when they showed the other races it was tied to their culture ex, they showed a black person in what looks to be Africa. They only once showed an ethnic person in a scene where they were not tied to their culture, is it shocking to have a black woman dressed up walking down the streets of NYC or an Asian man hug his wife? I find it disturbing actually that L’Oreal believes they are pushing an inclusive Ad where in reality they were not. This ad was type casted and I find that very wrong especially when they were suppose to be doing an ad for accepting all types of people as beautiful.

  3. Lately I’ve been really interested in privilege and I enjoyed your connection between privilege and beauty. Products are sold to woman by “guaranteeing” them that they will look and feel beautiful. However, the images that are linked to beauty are hegemonic, showing that skinny white girls have the ideal appearance. Privilege comes into play because the definition of beauty that continues to shape society is one that promotes Western superiority. Another issue that came up after reading your post was the idea that beauty can be bought. It is terrible how companies have managed to link beauty with sexuality and consumerism, also relying on stereotypes and misconceptions of gender and race to sell the product. If you were to advise a company, what suggestions would you make on how to successfully sale products without discriminating gender and race? Is it possible or do we rely on these images too much?

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