60 year-old model Twiggy was heavily airbrushed in Procter & Gamble’s Olay ad, so much that this image was banned in UK. The most dramatic difference can be seen around the eye area – we could believe the product, whose slogan is “Reduces the look of wrinkles and dark circles for brighter, younger-looking eyes.” or we could blame it on Photoshop. Let’s hear the whole story from Salon:
When people talk about unrealistic beauty standards and the media’s effect on women’s body image, it’s usually not long before Twiggy’s name comes up, even 43 years after the ultrathin model first made a splash – and for that matter, more than 15 years since Kate Moss famously reinvigorated the â€œwaif lookâ€ and wrought â€œh~~~~~ chicâ€ upon the world. Even if today’s girls have only heard about Twiggy from their grandmas, their self-esteem is still thought to be warped by the legacy of her 91-lb., 16-year-old body. And now, the 60-year-old model is being blamed for making their grandmas feel just as bad.
More precisely, Procter and Gamble is being blamed for Photoshopping the hell out of her face in an advertisement for an Olay eye cream, erasing crows’ feet and under-eye bags with the flick of a mouse rather than diligent long-term application of the cream in question. The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned the ad, on grounds that â€œthe post-production re-touching of this ad, specifically in the eye area, could give consumers a misleading impression of the effect the product could achieve.â€ But interestingly, the ASA rejected the idea that such images might harm women, beyond fleecing them out of a few bucks.
â€œWe considered that consumers were likely to expect a degree of glamour in images for beauty products and would therefore expect Twiggy to have been professionally styled and made-up for the photo shoot, and to have been photographed professionally,â€ it said. â€œWe concluded that, in the context of an ad that featured a mature model likely to appeal to women of an older age group, the image was unlikely to have a negative impact on perceptions of body image among the target audience and was not socially irresponsible.â€ (Not surprisingly, that’s pretty much what Procter and Gamble is saying as well.) But actually, says Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, who’s launched a campaign against out-of-control retouching, â€œExperts have already proved that airbrushing contributes to a host of problems in women and young girls such as depression and eating disorders.â€
In November, leading authorities on body image sent a paper to U.K. advertising authorities (available as a Word document here) outlining the relevant research. Over 100 published studies have documented â€œa detrimental effect of idealised media imagesâ€ on girls and women – and increasingly, boys and men.
Do you guys think that such Photoshop jobs are irresponsible and might have repercussions on women’s body image or are they harmless, because women expect “that photoshopped dosage of glamor”?