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Impact of Cosmetic Advertisements on Women

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The Shape of America

As marketing strategies have evolved, they have enhanced the ability of advertisers to communicate to the "masses" more effectively than ever before. This ability has allowed advertisers to not only reach more markets, but to be more influential in the decision making process of the audience. American society, especially young women, is being influenced by advertisers more now than in previous generations. It is not by accident that teenagers and young adults are targeted by advertisers, especially since their purchasing power as a group exceeds that of any other consumer group. Not only have advertisers learned to identify specific products that appeal to men and women, but they have also found that the "want" of the consumer can be turned into a "need" for the advertised product. Many of the beauty product companies advertise their products as a "need" which ultimately appeals to a vast majority of women.

Estee Lauder’s beauty product is one such advertiser. In an August 2004 issue of Vogue magazine, enclosed was a two-page ad campaign intended to sell Estee Lauder’s “Future Perfect Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Moisturizers SPF.” This advertisment is appealing to the consumer because it stresses the importance of remaining young by the use of this product. This advertisement then goes further to stress that, “The past is forgiven, the present is improved, and the future will be perfect.” This advertisement includes three alluring models, all of which are of different ethnicity but essentially have the same physical attributes. This image is used to appeal to all sorts of American women. The models all have famished bodies; this includes their angular, somewhat gaunt faces and protruding collarbones. Located right below this image is the company’s slogan which reads, “ESTEE LAUDER. Defining Beauty.” The attempt is made with this advertisement to define beauty with images of starved and malnourished models which Estee Lauder claims to be the standard for beauty.

Estee Lauder is presenting its view of beauty to the consumer as the defining truth. The issue with the advertisment is the acceptance by the consumer that the Estee Lauder definition of beauty is truthful and factual. The targeted audience for this advertisement is women of all ages. Beauty is something extremely important to women and is constantly being reinforced in the socie...

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.... Of course these women are not "real" women, but far to often do women take drastic measures look like these fashion models; this eventually will lead to eating disorders or severe depression. According to Natural Health magazine, 44% of women who are average or underweight think that they are overweight. The average woman's dress size is 12 and the average mannequin/model's dress size is 4 (NBC.com); this makes women feel as if they will never be good enough. According to Melissa Raftery, "When we open a magazine, we never see some 400-pound woman on the first page. Instead we see a woman who is 23% skinnier that the average American woman" (What Is Beauty?). Unfortunately, Estee Lauder is not the only beauty product company that puts forth this “definition of Beauty” and beauty product companies are not the only companies “defining beauty.” As long as the targeted market continues to buy into the advertisers “perfection line,” the advertisers will continue to deceive the public. For those who are gullible enough to believe this line of advertising, Estee Lauder ensures confidence and beauty all in one product. After all, their slogan does read, “ESTEE LAUDER. Defining Beauty!”
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