I was really frustrated yesterday when I saw Benefit’s campaign trending on Twitter with the slogan ‘Skip class not concealer’. WHAT?! It’s 2017, how on earth do these ridiculous ideas come to fruition? As a woman working in science, I couldn’t help but join in on the resulting Twitter protest.
A few brands (such as Dove and Always) are trying to promote women empowerment and body positivity (although there was speculation a while ago that Dove photo-shopped their models for a campaign which was against photo-shopping…), whereas Benefit have decided that telling girls to stay home and look pretty is better than working hard and being successful. Why?!
I wear make up because I can. Not because I have to, not because I can’t function without it, but because I can use it to show my personality. I actually really liked No7’s recent advert which pretty much explained it. But I do often feel quite naked without make-up, so I am clearly affected by the media at least a bit despite my efforts to push against it. I think make-up can be amazing for self-expression and for giving you personality, but I do not think it should be promoted in a way that makes it seem like a necessity. Some of the best days of my life have been make-up free!
I can’t solely focus my anger at Benefit, as a lot of other companies (and not just in beauty) are doing the same. I barely watch TV because I detest the media, and when I do, it’s rife with ridiculous, unrealistic adverts of photo-shopped women (and men too!). I don’t want to have a child who will be exposed to this nonsense, I want him/her to realise that superficiality is the most unattractive trait a person can have. They should be comfortable in their own skin! I was so insecure as a teenager (and often still am), and I don’t want this for other people.
I worry about this to a point where I wonder how I would let my children watch any TV at all, to an extent where I think maybe I shouldn’t even have children if I don’t want them to be forced into this toxic society. Not ideal!
Lots of beauty brands have made the same mistake as Benefit, and it’s outdated and sad. Women are increasingly sticking up for themselves and showing that we are in fact capable of functioning whilst not looking photo-shopped. However, there are also those girls who are clearly influenced by these adverts – I so often see 12 year olds pasted in make up (with the overdone eyebrows?), most of them don’t quite look human because they wear so much. It’s fine to wear make-up for self-expression, but brands should not be sending these negative messages to influential teenage girls, the main target market of Benefit and similar beauty brands.
Basically, a lot of people working in advertisement must be old, or just sexist assholes. I truly hope it wasn’t a woman that came up with this ad campaign. If it was, shame on you. These outdated advertising tactics need to change, or these companies will lose a lot of business – woman empowerment and body positivity is real, and it’s not going away.
PS. I’ve rushed writing this whilst its still a hot topic, so excuse any poor constructed sentences!
Also, read this blog post about Benefit’s campaign too if you’re interested; really good 🙂